During the summer, there are always unique pop-ups and festivals going on around the city and suburbs of Pittsburgh. From food to the arts, Pittsburgh does a fantastic job of promoting local businesses and inclusivity within our communities.

A new pop-up, coming to the Aspinwall Riverfront Park this August, aims to foster creativity, self-expression, and a deeper understanding of pottery in diverse communities across Pittsburgh. This pop-up is Wheel Mobile! As a program associated with the local nonprofit organization, Union Project, Wheel Mobile helps bring the art of ceramics and pottery anywhere!

What is Wheel Mobile?

Think of a food truck but for pottery. Hear us out….the Wheel Mobile van is a fully-equipped mobile clay studio that brings pottery, from its start as a lump of clay to a finished ceramic masterpiece for you to enjoy no matter where you are! See what we mean? Complete with clay, tools, a potter’s wheel, and a Raku kiln, Wheel Mobile brings the studio right to you!

Appropriate for all ages from kiddos to adults, Wheel Mobile is ready to bring wheel throwing, hand-building, and Raku firing to your next event. Having just completed the Wheel Mobile renovations this winter, the Raku kiln is ready to go and so are the teaching artists!

With Wheel Mobile, you get to make the pottery yourself! Of course, the teaching artists will guide you through the process and do demonstrations, but this is an interactive and truly “hands-on” experience! By transforming a typical brick-and-mortar experience into a mobile one, communities and families that may not have access to a pottery studio can try their hand at making something special.

As we mentioned, Wheel Mobile is embarking on its first summer journey this August at Aspinwall Riverfront Park. They hope to be at other locations like neighborhood festivals, community centers, and more in the near future.

Book Wheel Mobile for Events

Loving the idea of Wheel Mobile so much that you want it at your own private event? You’re in luck! Wheel Mobile is also available to book for birthday parties, social gatherings, corporate team-building events – the sky’s the limit!

Union Project’s program offerings are tailored to your group but are ALL packed full of fun. Options include a one-day experience to multi-week experiences to test your skills. The programs can be held on-site via Wheel Mobile, or if you need a space for your event, the Union Project ceramics studio is available for booking as well.

Not sure what kind of experience you want for your attendees? Union Project has put together some ideas for events at their studio space or remotely with Wheel Mobile! The classic wheel-throwing experience is always a solid choice, but feel free to expand to other creative opportunities. As we said, the sky’s the limit!

Union Project has some unique suggestions for community and private groups to promote volunteerism and community engagement. A few are themed projects for holiday parties, scout troop badge classes, and Empty Bowls tie-ins.

Union Project’s Workshops and Studio

If you’re interested in workshops or open studio time as an individual, duo, or group, check out Union Project’s calendar of events! Each event lists if there is an age requirement, a recommended skill level, and if there is a cost associated. This is a great way to see what events are going on at the studio and in the public!

Above all else, Union Project wants to give back to the diverse communities they have supported for 20+ years. By bringing Wheel Mobile to life, Union Project has continued to bridge the gap between communities. Offering classes for all skill levels, plus mobile classes around Pittsburgh, are just some of the ways they display their values.

Union Project’s Mission

Their mission revolves around inclusivity, art and artists, collaboration, and joy. Each of these values is connected to all of the work done by the Union Project. With inclusivity in their programs, Union Project and Wheel Mobile offer the opportunity to engage with communities. They provide them with resources for decision-making and empowerment for positive social change.

Through art and artists, Union Project can better understand diverse perspectives and foster a culture of acceptance and compassion. Collaboration speaks for itself, as Union Project strives to engage communities in collaborative art to show the positive impact when smaller parts come together as one.

Lastly, the value of joy. Each class, event, and experience aims to spread joy to all those around. Without joy, the vision of the Union Project cannot truly come to life.

So what do you say? Interested in booking Wheel Mobile for an upcoming community or private event? Check out their contact form to get in touch with the team at Union Project! And remember the Union Project vision: “Through the arts, everyone can transform their lives and communities.”

This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
Francesca Ferrante

Francesca Ferrante aka The412Franimal is a Blogger/Influencer for travel and ALL things Pittsburgh. Typically you can find her all over the US exploring the best food, views and adult beverages, or at a local PGH brewery watching whatever sport is in season. Passionate about helping others make the best memories, she loves sharing recommendations and tips for restaurants, events, happy hours & more!

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