HomeAbout TomAnnouncementsGallery
Student CommentsPorcelain InformationDVDs
LinksContactArticles & ViewpointsEquipment


Click Here for Class Schedule
Click Here for Review


I have been at Turner Lane since 2005 and have created a wonderful place to live and work. The studio space came together quite well for me and for my students as well. The past couple of years have had a steep learning curve as I got used to a new life, new environment, and focused my work and each students needs. I have taught all over the country, but this is a very unique situation because it is in my studio and the one to one is like nothing else. My collection of 1000 pots has shown to be an incredible addition to my demonstrations and for answering your questions. There are 19th and 20th century pots; Japanese and Chinese pots; and the oldest being Sung dynasty. You can go to whatever workshops you want, but youíll never get as much for your time and money as you will in this situation because it is all about YOU. I think the student comments attest to that. I will guarantee that I can help you, if you apply yourself while you are here.
Being able to share 50 years of Ceramic Art research and development with students is a real joy for me. What you learn here goes home with you so that you can apply it to your work forever. It doesnít matter if you choose to work with porcelain or not, the technical and aesthetic concepts apply to all pots. The main concept is to help you learn mental and physical skills that will help you improve your work forever. It is the concepts you take home that is important, not what you make while you are here. Students do not keep anything made while here.

I started out with 6 student wheels, but I am now down to three wheels, as 6 were too many for my studio space. I base my work and teaching on a philosophy of ďmaterial, process, and formĒ, along with attention to detail. By learning about the materials we use along with mastering the techniques to use these materials, allows us to deal with form, design, and creativity. Without control of the material, you are itís slave. Success and progress will be dependent upon each studentís effort and concentration while at Turner Lane. My classes are about thrown pottery as I am not a caster, ram-presser, or sculptor; I am a potter. You will work exclusively with my porcelain while here, but concepts and practices apply to any body you choose to use at home.

Students have been choosing their most convenient time to take classes whether that be week days, or week ends. I am only doing three day classes now, and naturally there is more information and progress in three days than two, and especially if you are traveling a great distance, three days makes more sense for the money invested. The more advanced the student, the more information flows and greater progress is possible. I have taught all over the country and in many ways, but this is like no other teaching, or learning. Classes are from 9Am until about 4PM, with a lunch break trip to Mars Hill, and the three days are very intense and focused.

I am taking students from the beginning level on up to professional potters making their living with pots. I feel there is something to learn here for whatever level you are currently working, and for whatever your intent is. Please feel free to email or call me with any questions you might have concerning classes. Each student is responsible for their own transportation, lodging, and meals.

There is an abundance of wonderful adventures in and around the Asheville area to visit while you are here. You can go to the following websites for that ,, I am also just 40 minutes from the world famous Penland School of Crafts, and only 20 minutes north of Asheville. If you are going from one to the other, I am only 3 miles off that route.

Classes are $200 per day, per student, and is due upon arrival. Everything you need is already here, so all you need to do is show up with lots of questions and enthusiasm. I ask that each student either call or email so we can discuss your training and experience with clay and what you would like to concentrate on while here. If you are driving, please bring a few pots for me to see, and if you are flying, maybe email me a few digitals of your work.

For overnight accommodations you can go to the following links.  a dog friendly B&B , type in Mars Hill, North Carolina for The Comfort Inn, or call 828-689-9000 and ask for Jody and she will give you a small discount if you tell her you are coming to Tom Turnerís School of Art Pottery.

TOM TURNER         
P.O.BOX 717
MARS HILL, N.C. 28754


If you want to learn more than you can imagine at a very reasonable price in a beautiful setting, try Tom Turnerís porcelain school. Last month I spent 3 days with Mr. Turner in an intense learning experience that has produced a quantum leap in the quality and vitality of my work. For $200 a day (plus the cost of a very reasonably priced hotel 10 minutes away from his Mars Hill, NC studio), Tom Turner answered every question I could think to ask. He cheerfully demonstrated every skill I wanted to learn. He also showed me techniques I didnít know I was missing Ė a situation common for those of us who learn by workshops and occasional classes.

He provided detailed information about a wide array of forming, trimming, and firing techniques, and explained why he does them the way he does. 40 years of experience was poured over me and it was one wonderful time. Now, a month later, I am still amazed at how much I learned and the depth of knowledge Tom Turner shared with me. He is a very talented teacher who is fully invested in his studentsí success and in passing on what he knows to others. With kindness and humor, plus a wealth of great stories, he
corrected my mistakes, deepened my appreciation for detail, and shared his views on form and design.

BTW, if porcelain intimidates you, he has developed a porcelain formulation that will make the transition to the beautiful white stuff easy and rewarding. I strongly urge anyone interested in a remarkable clay learning experience to sign up for Tom Turnerís porcelain school.

Virginia Ainslie
3812 North Sixth Road
Arlington, VA 22203