Ceramic Department


The ceramic arts program at Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art offers the largest and most diversified community studio setting within 150 miles of Great Falls. Options for participation include classes, public/private workshops, open studio, and kiln firing services for regional artists and organizations.

The museum’s education department also offers ceramics program internships, independent studies, and an artist residency year round. These programs focus on building artistic and technical knowledge in the field: offered to undergraduate students and beyond.


Ceramics Classes & Workshops

Quarterly classes for K-12th grade, and adults (ages 14+).

Quarterly classes for persons with special needs.

For adults taking an advanced or beginning class, we have additional shelving available for rent if you do not want to use a provided locker. The cost of two shelves while enrolled in a pottery class is $18 for the 8 week course.

  • Please check the respective sections under the education tab for current class listings.

Private Group Workshops

1 session workshops provide students the opportunity to use the potter’s wheel, hand build works in clay or a combination of the two.

All ages and ability levels welcome. Class limited to 10 persons. If you are interested in coordinating a private workshop, please call the museum at 406-727-8255.

If you are interested in coordinating a private workshop, please contact the Director of Education, Sarah Justice, for cost and coordinating.

Open Studio

The ceramics wheel room and kiln/glaze room are open to the public for a small fee, without instructor, but the individual must have ceramics experience.  Monday-Friday 10am-5pm (Tuesday’s 10am-9pm), Saturday’s 12pm-5pm. During class time, which varies, please ask the instructor if you can work in the room with their class.

Daily cost: $8 per day, this includes access to the wheel room, glazes and bisque firings.
Monthly cost: There is a $60 monthly charge. This monthly fee includes 2 shelves for storage of your materials and work and glazes and bisque firings.

Note: if you are a student taking on-going classes, you may keep your locker between classes, if you have signed up and paid for your upcoming class.


Clay Cost

A-Clay: $15 for 25lbs (half a box) or $30 for 50lbs (full box)

Wally’s: $15 for 25lbs (half a box) or $30 for 50lbs (full box)

ABF Stoneware: $15 for 25lbs (half a box) or $30 for 50lbs (full box)

Reclaim clay: for sale when available please ask education director or education assistant.

Firing Services

Regional artists, schools and community organizations are welcome to fire ware in museum kilns. Please call 1 month in advance to inquire about firing schedules. Responsibilities include loading, unloading kilns and participating in firing as needed.

Glaze Fire Cost: If you are not taking classes, or are in-between class sessions

Pay Per Self Cost: $18 for one kiln shelf (the large electric kiln- one whole shelf and the smaller kiln it is 2 half’s to make a whole).  So you get 2 firings for $18.
Anything over 12” tall will cost $23.  This means if you have 1 piece over 12”h and all the other pieces are shorter it will still cost $23.

Cost for full kiln load: 

  • Small electric kiln:  $30 for full kiln load of glazeware

  • Medium electric kiln: $40 for full kiln load of glazeware

  • Large electric kiln: $60 for full kiln load 

Note:  You can share the kiln with another person and split the cost.  Please pay for your firing at the front desk.  To book your kiln firing please contact the education director Sarah Justice or the education assistant Rob Kellenbeck.  Kiln firing forms are in the kiln room on a clipboard, next to the sink.  Please fill the form out and place next to your work

Rules:  Please do not load or unload kilns, or fire the kilns.  This is for staff only.  Please do not make glazes without discussion with instructor first.  Please put all your materials away after you use them. Sweep and mop around your work area, and clean table surfaces. Finished work must be picked-up and taken home within 3 weeks of the firing, or it may be discarded at discretion of staff.


Pottery & Hand building Equipment Overview

Electric Potter’s Wheels (10): Brent, Creative Industries, and Thomas Stewart models.
Table Top Potter’s Wheels (2): Amaco models. (wheel chair accessible!)
Kick Wheels (1): Randall model
Treadle Wheels (1): Custom model
North Star Slab Roller
North Star Clay Extruder
Slump Molds & Hump Molds

Kiln Overview

Electric Kilns: Cress (model ET 28), (model 181), Skutt (model KM 818), AIM (model 2327), Amaco (model 64E – copper enameling) 
Gas Kiln: 40 cu. ft. downdraft
Raku Kiln: 15 cu. ft. front loader

Glaze Inventory

Mid-range electric, cone ten (high-fire), raku glazes and slips available for studio use. Fully stocked glaze chemical inventory available for artists to work with. Costs determined on a case by case basis for testing and mixing glazes.