Flexible Tuition

 

You tell me what you want to learn.

The studio is set up mainly for the wheel-based pottery techniques described below. However, if you want to learn or practice other techniques such as coil building, slab work or sculpture then that can be arranged.

For more experienced potters I can provide tailor made classes in particular aspects of the process, such as centering or making different shapes. You decide what you would like to cover.

Standard Course Content

In the classes I would like to teach you the traditional, wheel based, pottery process including the following steps:

Preparing and Wedging clay

Centering

Throwing

Turning / Trimming.

Glazing and Decorating.


Decorating Only Sessions

I can also offer 'decorating only' sessions. In these you can decorate and glaze bowls that I have already thrown and which are bisque fired. The pieces will then be fired again a few days later and should be ready to be collected within a week. Please see the Glazing link for further details.

Pottery Process

Please note that I will not be able to teach the entire process in just one session.

The pottery process is dependent on the time it takes clay to dry, and then the further time required to fire it in the kiln. From start to finish it takes a minimum of 10 days. Unfortunately there is no way to force this and speed it up. Due to this, you will not be able to come away with a finished piece in just one session.

It takes three sessions to make some finished bowls.

Session 1 - Throwing

In your first class, I would expect to cover wedging (briefly), centering, and throwing. How far we get, and how productive each session is, will depend to some extent on the skills (and/or prior experience) of each student.

I would expect (but cannot guarantee) that each student - including beginners - should be able to produce (i.e. center and throw) at least two or three bowls by the end of the class.

Session 2 - Turning and Trimming

Thereafter (allowing 48 hours or more), a second session will be needed to turn and trim the pieces that you made in the first session. You may also choose to decorate the pieces using slip or carving techniques.

Once this has been done I will dry out the pieces (which takes about a week) and do the first (bisque) firing.

Session 3 - Glazing

Then in a third session you will be able to finish decorating and paint the bowls with glaze emulsion.

The pieces will then be fired to full temperature a day or two later, outside of lesson times. This turns the matt glaze emulsion into a permanent shiny coloured coating.

After this three step process. students will eventually be able to take away and enjoy the finished pieces which will be hard wearing, dishwasher proof and food safe.

Any time remaining at the end of the turning or glazing sessions can be used to start new pieces or continue work in progress.

If, on a third or later class, you choose not to start any new work, and finish early, the charge for that lesson will be discounted accordingly.

The same time scale will also apply to work made using other techniques.

Please come with realistic expectations. Like any art or craft, it does take time and practice to learn, develop and improve one's skills. 

Help and Advice

I am always happy to answer your questions and help you get the most from the classes.

I have written a beginners guide which explains the core process, the equipment and much of the jargon and technical terms. you can read it here. I hope it is useful.

Please feel free to call me if you have any questions.