| Twisted Clay Online

Ruthie Schulz


I became a studio potter quite by accident, but I couldn't be more thrilled with how it has shaped my life.

As a teenager in Valencia, Spain, I fell in love with handmade pottery. I often visited a shop downtown to admire the wheel-thrown, intricately painted pots with designs developed over centuries. These beautiful pieces sparked my fascination with pottery, even though my work today is quite different. After moving back to the US, I found a job that required extensive travel in South America, thanks to my Spanish skills. This allowed me to see wheel-thrown pots in countries rich with history and culture, which was an incredible experience.

In 2006 with young children at home, I decided to leave my job and focus on family. My co-workers, knowing my love for pottery, gifted me a month of pottery classes. I was excited, but convinced I’d be terrible at it. And at first, I was. However, I loved the process so much that I literally dreamt about it when I wasn’t at the wheel. This passion led me to get my own wheel and kiln, and I eagerly absorbed everything I could about wheel throwing through books, classes, and a few YouTube tutorials. Tim See and Simon Leach were the only online potters back then, and I spent hours watching their content, steadily improving my skills.


One of my most influential in-person teachers was Betsey Carter at Cone 10 Studios in Charleston, South Carolina. She taught me to control the clay instead of letting it decide what it would be. This was transformative for my work. As my skills improved, I began participating in juried art shows. While I enjoyed selling my work, the travel became challenging with young children at home. In 2016, after a decade as a potter, I decided to try a new adventure and began teaching in my home studio.

Articulating the skills I had learned was a different challenge, but it was incredibly rewarding to discover an effective teaching method and to see students grasp concepts clearly. Teaching in my home studio was a success, leading me to take the next step. In 2019, I opened Twisted Clay Studio with 15 wheels. We made it through the pandemic and are now a flourishing studio of 180 students and 22 wheels.


Twisted Clay is a class-focused studio, primarily serving returning students eager to deepen their skills. Our project-based learning approach is designed to teach key skills through carefully chosen projects, helping students master the pottery wheel. My goal as a teacher is to equip students with the ability to create their own interpretations of pieces using the core skills developed in our courses. We emphasize good form, understanding that strong forms are beautiful even without decoration. Most of our students return every six weeks, continually challenging themselves to improve.

This journey has been incredibly fulfilling, and I feel privileged to introduce people to the art of wheel-thrown ceramics. Many of my closest friendships have formed through Twisted Clay, underscoring the community-building power of pottery.

I'm excited to bring our project-based learning to our online community. Now it is time to go deep and become the potter’s we never knew we could be.

Now Online: Project-Based Lessons