Get your hands messy and make clay creations to bring home!

Our Clay Studio offers children and adults alike the chance to create art with their hands. Working with clay is not only fun, but is a great way to strengthen motor skills and improve dexterity.

In keeping with our mission of sparking creativity and critical thinking, the Museum collaborated with SDSU School of Art + Design students for the past year to enhance our popular outdoor studio space. Students in SDSU’s first ever course, Community Partnership in Applied Design, along with Assistant Professor Adam J. Manley, designed prototypes and fabricated a new set of tables and stools in Clay Studio for children and their caregivers. The collaboration honed students’ design skills, provided workforce development opportunities and resulted in a functional environment that fosters creativity and imagination in our community. This project was made possible in part by the Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation and Tony and Cristina Yahyai.

Clay Studio FAQs

Can we bake it in our home oven?

Unfortunately, the clay is not recommended to be baked in an oven. It must be fired in an industrial kiln. Our Museum is working on a ceramics program and may have a kiln in the future. If you are interested in firing clay sculptures now, there are several ceramic studios in San Diego that have access to a kiln; cost may vary by studio. There are specific steps for how the sculptures must be prepared prior to firing and these studios can provide more info.

Feel free to check out the following studios:

How can we preserve our clay creations?

Here are some tips for preserving your clay creation without firing the clay in a kiln:

  • If a creation breaks, attach the piece back with a damp sponge or paper towel. Smooth over the clay pieces with the sponge/towel until you see them reconnect. Bigger breaks may need slip (a mixture of clay and water acts like clay glue) to reattach.
  • Seal your clay creation. Once your creation is completely dry, use Mod Podge to paint over your creation. This will act as a barrier and add a smooth surface for the paint. Once your creation is fully dry, paint the clay surface with an acrylic paint. Allow the paint to dry, then add layers. It will help seal the clay, however, it will still be fragile and may break if not careful.

Weather advisory

Please note that our Clay Studio is an outdoor space and subject to closure on rainy days or weather permitting. Thank you for understanding!