About Clay Kiln Craft

At ClayKilnCraft we take great pride in being a completely independent pottery studio. We have the facilities of a large studio with the heart of a smaller one. We aim to nurture & inspire all our students & members to help them achieve their goals.

Set in the heart of Crystal Palace, South East London, our classes are small with plenty of teachers so loads of one-to-one time. We offer one-off classes, potter’s wheel throwing courses as well as combined general hand building & wheel courses.

We also run an open access membership scheme for hobbyists, amateurs, semi-professionals & the enthusiastic in a supportive, informative and fun environment.

Started in 2014 by ceramic artist Aliya Rashid giving wheel lessons in her studio for beginners, the company has evolved into a thriving creative space teaching people of all abilities to throw, handbuild and explore their inner artist while improving and building on their skills.



ALIYA RASHID Founder & Ceramic Artist

Growing up in Middlesbrough in the North East, Aliya first discovered pottery on her foundation course at Cleveland College of Art. It was love at first rolling of a coil! Unfortunately her father wasn’t keen on the idea of having a potter in the family and Aliya ended up doing graphic design at college instead.

Many years later and bored with designing magazines and newspapers, Aliya decided to go back to college and finally get that ceramics degree.

Three years later she graduated in Ceramics with a first class honours degree from Camberwell College of Art. Aliya fell into teaching by accident after she was recommended by a friend to teach pottery at a centre 
for special needs adults.

‘It was a very challenging, but rewarding experience. I came away from that summer project completely humbled. I knew I wanted to do more.

‘The business started small, my mother lent me £5,000 to buy my first 3 wheels and I started giving monthly wheel lessons. When my students wanted more I found space in a basement converted toilet! And yes, it was as grim as it sounds. When it rained the smell was… very pungent! The best thing about it was that it was fully tiled which made cleaning a lot easier!

‘I was thrilled to find the shop I’m in now. It’s taken a lot of hard work to get it to this stage. It’s all been done with sheer hard work, doing two jobs to finance everything. This is an independent studio and I’m determined it should stay that way. The atmosphere is relaxed, fun and supportive whatever my students aims are. The studio is looking fantastic and the facilities improve on a weekly basis.
‘As well as core courses and classes for beginners and intermediates, we also offer open access membership to people of all abilities. The studio helps people to develop at their own pace to make what interests them whether they are hobby potters and just want to relax after a hard days work or they are serious potters looking to sell or exhibit their work. We work with the individual.

‘2024 will be our 10th anniversary and I’m so excited. As well as mega celebrations, we are introducing a whole load of new courses including Raku and Chemistry of Glaze. It’s going to be great year!

‘Here’s to the next 10 years!’


Monique Gordon Teacher


Jude Hellon Teacher

Jude has been part of the team at ClayKilnCraft for three years now. Jude has a BA in Applied Arts and many years of experience working in galleries and museums. She teaches across the disciplines, but hand building techniques are her particular passion.

‘I first fell in love with clay at secondary school where the art department had a fully equipped pottery room complete with an inspiring teacher! A path through art school followed culminating in an applied arts degree from University of Derby.

‘After graduating I was lucky enough to work in the Ceramics & Glass Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum; from here I built a career in arts administration, gallery curation and sales including working at the Crafts Council in Islington. It was a wonderful insight into the rich and continuing tradition of the applied arts in human material culture.

‘How objects communicate and tell stories are themes that I find perpetually inspiring. I love teaching and am endlessly fascinated by the diverse work students produce having been given the same clay and the same technique. The therapeutic benefits of making are something that greatly interests me also. Making can be a wonderfully mindful process and we also have a lot of fun, laughter is the best medicine!

‘Whilst my love of clay and ceramics has always been present, developing my own practice is something which I have only recently found space to focus on and I am excited to be taking some time out to develop a new body of work.’


Lulu Senft Teacher

Lulu has been with the studio for nearly two years. A talented artist who graduated with a BA in illustration and animation she specialises in hand building at the studio.

‘After graduating I completed a short project in ceramics which I thoroughly enjoyed. Seeking to know more, I looked for other opportunities to work with clay. This led to me completing a six month supported ceramics residency with the studio Collective Matter. During this time I focused on hand building and figurative sculpture, while exploring and learning about working with different clays and glazes.

‘My interest still lies in hand building, however I also enjoy the wheel and the change of pace it brings.

‘I joined the wonderful team at Clay Kiln Craft at the start of 2022.’

You can find out more about Lulu at: www.lulusenft.com

Love this place, I think I'm now addicted to pot(s)

Yasemin Kascioglu

Very thorough instruction on taster session which led to surprising and satisfying first attempts.

Dominic Conrad

I absolutely love this place!

Meili Kan

Great thorough intro to throwing clay and you get to make and keep a decent first piece

Natalia Baker

I did a hand building course for beginners a few months ago and have been hooked since. A well structured course combined with positive and constructive guidance. Wednesday evenings are often a great atmosphere too. I really recommend this place to anyone who wants to give it a go!

Amy Beddows