Step into the world of pottery, a growing interest in Jakarta as residents search for new creative avenues. This pottery workshop with Tanakita Ceramics is a satisfyingly tactile activity which will have you mindfully moulding and shaping, creating your very own clay-made masterpiece to take home.

The artisanal pottery studio of Tanakita Ceramics is found in Grogol, West Jakarta, a quaint and peaceful space in which creativity and artistic expressions take shape. Established in 2020 by Josephine ‘Vina’ Tjandra and her sister Gabriela, Tanakita Ceramics was born as a labour of love. The sisters set out to revitalise a rich ceramic heritage that Indonesia once had, and indeed instil their passion for this particular art into more people. They do this through a range of workshops and also courses that cater to both beginners and experienced potters in Jakarta. 

Slightly different from your average pottery retail spot, Tanakita offers a more in-depth service catering to ceramic products and their producers. Whether you need your pottery wheel fixed, or perhaps a vase that needs mending, they can do both. Of course, most popular are their classes through which guests can try their hand at turning earth into art. 

For beginners, the classes are divided into two main techniques: handbuilding and wheel-throwing. There are two sessions in this course, the first is when you’ll dive into the world of clay for about an hour and a half, crafting up about three pottery works. Particularly in the handbuilding class, students can create just whatever it is they want. From a funky coffee mug to an inaccurate  dinosaur sculpture, the sky’s the limit. You will learn about kneading and shaping clay into objects of your own design.

The second phase of your pottery creation comes after your clay has been fired in the oven and is ready to paint between 1-2 weeks later. Here you’re taught a little chemistry too, as colouring ceramics is not exactly like painting on a canvas. Painting sessions have no time constraints, allowing you to finish off your ceramic piece at a leisurely pace — this is then fired in the oven and will be ready in another 1-2 weeks. Whether building, throwing or painting, these are therapeutic and mindful activities, inviting you to slow down, focus in and immerse yourself in a particularly task. It’s clay therapy. 

If you’re after more than just a creative weekend activity and really want to develop a new skill, Tanakita’s four-week courses are designed to transform you from clay novice to pottery pro. Choosing between handbuilding and wheel-throwing: in handbuilding, you’ll master the ancient arts of pinching, slab building, and coiling. Wheel-throwing, on the other hand, is a more intricate process, as it involves the use of a pottery wheel, which requires more time to master. Students in this class are instructed in various clay-handling techniques, taking into account differences in individual application, clay composition, and weight, with the final step of trimming, a technique used to shape the ceramic foot.

Pottery workshops offer a creative outlet and therapeutic space for individuals to explore their artistic potential and, increasingly important, a moment to tune out from the world. These sessions serve as a sanctuary from stress relief and a break from daily pressures. Surrounded by the tranquil setting of Tanakita’s studio, you can leave all your worries at the door for a moment and immerse into the therapeutic world of pottery. If you’ve caught the pottery bug and simply want to work on your own pieces in peace, Tanakita provides memberships for those who wish to use the studio facilities.

Tanakita Ceramics
Jl. Tanjung Duren Barat IV No.1, Grogol, West Jakarta
IG: @tanakitaceramics |

Dinda Mulia

Dinda Mulia

Dinda is an avid explorer of art, culture, diplomacy and food. She is also a published poet and writer at NOW!Jakarta.