*If you have completed this course please leave a review below!*
Host: Kevin Millward
Duration: 2 days
Times: 9.00-16.00 approx.
Please bring: Towel, apron, notepad, pen, means of getting your work home (e.g. fruit crate lined with corrugated card if necessary)
1. Please ensure you notify us of dietary requirements at time of booking
2. Read full details of our courses including booking T&Cs on our website
3. If there is time at the end of the course, an optional factory tour will be offered giving a unique insight into how our clay is made.
4. Work can be fired for collection or delivery at a later date for a small fee.
2017 DATES NOW AVAILABLE:
February 22-23 (Wed/Thur)
March 13-14 (Mon/Tue)
April 4-5 (Tue/Wed) NEW DATE ADDED
May 17-18 (Wed/Thur)
October 9-10 (Mon/Tue)
Hosted by internationally respected potter Kevin Millward who is well-known for presenting seminars, workshops and lectures, as well as training potters from all over the world. In last 20 years Kevin has been teaching at BA Hons courses all over the UK. Most recently he was technical consultant for hit BBC series The Great Pottery Throw Down. The first edition of his book, Surface Decoration, will be published in 2017.
An outstandingly popular two-day basic level course covering the basics of throwing using Shimpo Whisper potter’s wheels. On the first day you will learn to wedge, centre and throw. Kevin will show you the basic techniques needed for different thrown forms such as cylinders, vases, bowls and platters. You will learn how to apply pattern directly to the thrown surface and how different hand tools can be used effectively for this purpose. On the second day you will learn to 'turn' and refine your leatherhard pots using various hand tools. Students will be able to take advantage of our brand new classroom drying cabinet to minimise waiting around for pots to dry to leatherhard and avoid missing out on valuable trimming time. Those who would like to try out the legendary Giffin Grip will have the opportunity to do so. This is a very popular course and due to the intensive nature of the tuition, places are restricted to a maximum of 10. Please book early to avoid disappointment.
Have you been inspired by the Great British Pottery Throw Down? Browse the range of fabulous pottery and ceramics courses at Potclays - we have been teaching beginners and practiced professionals alike for over 35 years!
What's included in the price?
Materials, buffet lunch, refreshments, preferential discounts against all of our products.
I attended this course on 13th and 14th March 2017 and found it extremely useful. Since 2014 I had done some throwing on my own wheel both self taught and some other with minimal tuition. Kevin's no nonsense approach was like a quantum leap and was invaluable. I came away with the beginnings of better throwing. I also attended Kevin's glazing course in November 2016 which was excellent.
It was also a great pleasure meeting Cait and Richard from Throwdown.
I now intend to enroll on one of his intermediate throwing courses as soon as I can find the time.
I would also like to give a huge "thank you" to the staff at Potclays for a very enjoyable course.
I've been on a couple of courses (hand building and glazing) before at Potclays with Kevin and enjoyed them so much I booked the basic two day throwing course. I had thrown before but needed to brush on my basic skill and this was the perfect course to do this. Day one was spent giving the basics of clay bodies, balling up, getting the clay in the centre of the wheel and then concentrated on cylinders. Day two gave an overview of the previous day and moved on to concentrate on bowls. We also covered turning, pulled handles and plates on day two which was great. I can not recommend this course highly enough it was just brilliant. Kevin was more than happy to slow his demonstrations and repeat until each step could be mastered by everyone. The facilities were brilliant with plenty of space - and clay! - to keep busy for the full day. The staff at Potclays are just wonderful, nothing is ever too much trouble and you are made to feel very welcome on arrival and throughout the course. If you're new to throwing or just want to brush up your skills, then this is the perfect course for you!
A thoroughly enjoyable two-day course. I came away with a feeling of great satisfaction in having learned so much and been able to throw passable cylinders and bowls, under the expert and entertaining instruction of Kevin Millward.
The course is very well organised by the friendly and helpful staff at Potclays, for whom nothing is too much trouble.
The factory tour was a bonus, giving insight into what goes on behind the scenes to produce the different clay bodies, and to appreciate the hard work that goes into this production.
The only drawback is that it is not always easy to get a place on this course - but persevere - it's worth it.
It’s always refreshing to be taught by a tutor whose love of his subject is instantly apparent. In the clean, well organised and spacious studio our tutor, Kevin, began day one with cylinder making. After balling up the clay into perfect spheres he gave a very concise and well paced demonstration of centring, leaving us in no doubt of the importance of that particular skill. We all went off to give it a go and Kevin thoughtfully divided his attention equally between each person in our group of 10. On day two we made bowls and in the afternoon had the opportunity to either turn them or to carry on practising to throw. Throughout the course encouragement , enthusiasm and good humour never waned ... Kevin’s knowledge of ceramics, which he seemed delighted to impart, added a never ending supply of interest. Lunch was fresh, tasty and well considered and another bonus was a brief history of Potclays talk and tour of the factory. I left the friendly atmosphere with a real desire to get practising and return. I would very much recommend this course to a complete beginner or any person who has tried to self teach with out progress.
This was a fantastic course. There were 10 of us working on Shimpo wheels in a pleasant studio over 2 days. Kevin was just amazing - he demonstrated techniques and then we had a go. He then came round and gave us individual help. This meant that although we were a mixed ability group from complete novice to reasonably competent we all got to make good progress. On the first day we learnt to throw cylinder shapes and on the second we learnt bowls and turning. Kevin was a mine of information and full of anecdotes - we tried to to get him so spill the beans on the next series of 'Throwdown' - but he wouldn't tell.....
An excellent lunch was provided and special diets catered for. We also had a very informative tour of the Potclays factory. A bonus was the ability to purchase from the Potclays well stocked shop at a discount.
We we well taught and it was fun and good value - a great beginners course.
What a fabulous, fun couple of days. I had never done anything like this before and produced numerous pots, which I was thrilled with! Kevin is an excellent instructor and all-round nice guy. His technical know-how is second to none and he is extremely helpful during the workshop. It is very hands-on and Kevin's guidance is great. I would ideally have preferred less in the class though, as he was often spread too thinly. The staff at Potclays were all very helpful and I would definitely recommend it to others. Thank you :-)
I have thrown pots before but thanks to Kevin I now know how to do it properly! He is a first rate teacher, gave some excellent demonstrations and spent lots of time with all the students individually, irrespective of ability, to ensure that everyone went away with a firm grasp of the key techniques. There was plenty of equipment and an inexhaustible amount of clay available and a lovely lunch was provided. In addition to throwing techniques we also learned a lot about the history of the ceramics industry and its current state. I would thoroughly recommend this course.
An excellent course! Kevin is a knowledgable and generous tutor. Having started on the Monday with no skills whatsoever, I can now confidently centre clay on the wheel and make a cylinder or bowl. The course was well equipped, each student had a wheel, plenty of clay and Kevin was able to help us all equally (and according to ability). Lunch was lovely and there was plenty of tea, coffee and biscuits. The staff were welcoming and helpful. I would definitely return for another course.
The 2-day workshop at Potclays cannot be praised enough. Kevin is an outstanding teacher and whatever your ability, thanks to his clear technical instructions and practical help, you will have made sufficient progress by the end of the course to be able to throw cylinders and bowls (the necessary skills for making any vessel). You will be inspired, and you may even feel confident enough to buy your own wheel and convert your shed into a studio. Moreover, if you haven't got that possibility - and if you live in the area - you can hire a unit a Potclays with a wheel for a reasonable daily fee (which I will do). The lunch is tasty and plenty, and the factory director James Otter will offer you an interesting personal guided tour of the factory. The staff too are very helpful with general and specific advice. Thank you.
Kevin Millward is an enthusiast and a great teacher. He gave lots of encouragement whatever level we had already reached. At the same time we were left in no doubt as to the rules of the game. His inspiring demonstrations and individual tuition on the basics fulfilled all my expectations. We were given an opportunity to fire our pots but the weather was so damp they didn't dry quickly enough to turn them the second day. The airy studio, with a Shimpo wheel for each student, warm welcome, tour of the clay factory with James, team spirit, good food and plentiful hot drinks all added to a memorable couple of days.
I have just taken my pots home and put them in my art/pottery room and low and behold they are much bigger than the others I have made. Therefore my objective on going on the course has been achieved. Let's hope I maintain the new quality and size.
During the course I realised I had been throwing incorrectly and corrected this during the course really quickly. I had also misunderstood a few basic principles and came home more knowledgeable about throwing and how process-driven pot making is.
I enjoyed the relaxed and supportive atmosphere. Being a retired primary school teacher I knew that Kevin really enjoyed his work (both teaching and potting), and conveyed that to his students. This can be inspirational and if done really well, out of the hundreds Kevin teaches, will produce future gifted teachers and potters.
The course was absolutely perfect for beginners. Duncan was friendly, clear with his explanations/demonstrations and didn't put pressure on you to feel as though you had to stand and watch every demonstration. There was plenty of hands on time so you could be on the wheel practising as much as you liked and Duncan was available at all times for one to one help. There was no shortage of clay and there was a 'recycling bin' so you could practise without worrying about wasting any materials.
I think there could have been an opportunity for us to fire and decorate our pots given the cost of the course. I loved throwing the pots and working with the clay but I now have 5 pots at home that I can't really do anything with.
I found the course really useful and excellent value for money. The staff were all very helpful as usual. The chance to go around the factory was very interesting and a real bonus to see how the clay is mixed. I would recommend the course to anyone wishing to learn how to throw. Duncan was brilliant, very clear, he worked at just the right pace and his enthusiasm for ceramics and education was infectious!
It would be difficult to improve the course other than having a few more sinks and water available for drinking during the course, perhaps a water dispenser?