Introduction to Clay Bodies

Knowing what is in your clay body is the first step to making your clay body work for you.

Course Overview

Introduction to Clay Bodies Online is a 4-month course focused on the science behind clay bodies. No more myths and legends about how clay bodies work, only facts and science. The course provides information and science to help everyone utilize clay bodies in ways that will help them take control of their materials and make their studios the best they can be.

This course aims to develop a basic understanding of the following:  origins, chemical composition, properties, and function of clay types including earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain, the processing and usage of clay formulas, clay formulas: analysis and performance, applications of clay formulas: throwing, construction and casting and the tenants of heat and temperature and clay flaws: identification and correction.

Introduction to Clay Bodies consists of 14 on-demand video lectures presented over 3 months with a month to review. The on-demand format is designed for the educational needs of the ceramicist. Students will engage with the teacher and other students in bi-weekly, live, online discussions.  We will discuss the questions from the class that arise, as well as explore experiments and the studio in general. In addition, students are provided with discussion forum for each lecture, so they may start the conversation, there and then.

Sample Video

Course Outline

  • Introduction to Clay Bodies – Geology
  • Studio Performance – Clay mineralogy / Clay types
  • Geology – More Geology
  • Chemistry – Fluxes / Fillers / Material selection
  • Clays I – Types of Clay
  • Clays II – Rheology; Drying and shrinkage
  • Fluxes and Flint – Thermal properties / Quartz
  • Other Fluxes and Fillers
  • Working with Clays – Mixing; Casting slips
  • Firing I – Thermal properties
  • Firing II – Firing / Heat work
  • Clay Flaws – Physical properties / Defects
  • Dispersants, Density and Calculators – Alternative Bodies / Processes; Low Temperature Bodies

Course Announcements

Now enrolling in January 2025

  • ​Class size is limited
  • Sign up today to reserve your spot!
  • Free early access to the lectures upon enrollment


Lectures Only Vs. Full Course

Lectures Only Option – $400

You can begin right now.

Enroll and start learning today!

If you want just the lectures:

  • You can start RIGHT NOW!
  • $400 for unlimited access Intro to Clay Bodies lectures
  • Over 14 hours of content
  • Includes four months of access to course materials
  • Upgrade option available to full course for only additional tuition + upgrade fee $50
  • Enroll Here!
  • Add our new Premium Add On Here!
  • Note this option does not include labs or live Q&A discussions

We’ve bundled together our Lectures Only courses at a great price of $1,400!  Save $300!

  • 16 months of unlimited access to Lectures Only Understanding Glazes, Lectures Only Intro to Clay Bodies, Lectures Only Advancing Glazes and Lectures Only Crystal Ball.
  • Upgrade option available to each of the full courses for only additional tuition + upgrade fee $50 per course
  • Enroll Here!
  • Note this option does not include labs or live Q&A discussions

    Full Course Option – $600

    Class begins January 1st, 2025

    Limited spaces – enroll today to save your spot!

    If you want to experience the full course:

    • The class session will officially begin Jan 1st, but you can enroll now to get early free access to the lectures to get a head start!
    • Full experience course includes:
      • 14 total – 1 to 2 hour on-demand lectures
      • Live bi-weekly online Q&A discussions on Wednesdays 8pm and Thursdays 10am EST (NYC time)
      • Optional lab experiments and readings
      • Access to Course Discussion pages to ask questions about class content
      • Copies of our lecture materials
      • Registration is open now and is LIMITED!  Reserve your spot now! Sign up here for Jan 2025 session!  
      • Cost:   $600
      • Add our new Premium Add On Here!

    If you want more, we’ve bundled together our favorites for you!

     Our new Premium Add On includes:

    • Lifetime access to all 3 CMW Workshops – Glaze Our Lives, The Middle Glazes and Glazed & Confused!  ($300 value)
    • Lifetime access to the new CMW Digital Glaze Book with Matt’s Analysis ($250 value)
    • Can be added to any Lectures Only, Self-Guided or Full Course
    • Save $250 – A $550 value!
    • Cost:  $300


    Meet Your Instructor Matt Katz

    Matthew Katz

    Matt Katz has been teaching for years at world class institutions including The New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Rhode Island School of Design and Harvard University.

    Course Reviews

    What Students are Saying


    “Hey, just a quick message to say how fantastic your course is, I am only 5% through but learning so much. Love the style, love the module set up, love the clarity of the information. I will recommend to all my potter friends and just wanted to say a big thank you.”


    Simon, Student – Dec 2021

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Answers to Your Most Pressing Questions

    When are your clay classes held?

    Our clay class runs twice a year in January and July.  Note due to our 2023 Summer travel schedule, there will be no July 2023 session.

    Are you going to talk about…

    Let me stop you there. We are going to talk about EVERYTHING.

    Temperatures? Yes? Clay Flaws? You bet your buttons. Atmosphere? You better believe it. Materials? No way around it. At the end of this course you will have a thorough understanding of ALL aspects of clays.

    Do you talk about glazes in this class?

    There is some discussion of glazes in the class, but this is a clays-centric class. We have a class exclusively on glazes – Understanding Glazes.

    Are you going to teach about commercial clays?

    Our goal is to help you make your work better. It is possible to make exciting dynamic clays at ALL temperatures. Even if you are just working in your garage or community studio, with knowledge, a scale, and materials, we will help you understand your work better.

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