Duration: One day
at Dimbleby Ceramics - Beginners Studio pottery Courses
About the Course
The day will cover the following elements:
- Clay preparation
- Centring the clay
- Throwing cylinders with the aim of producing forms of even thickness.
- Developing basic forms
- Wiring pots off the wheel
There is a maximum of four places available to book for this course per workshop, giving the opportunity for focused tuition. If booking for one person you have the option to bring someone with you to observe.
For bookings of two or more people there is a discount of £25 per person.
We are based near the historic Trentham Gardens which is one of Staffordshire's top tourist attractions.
If you require accommodation, there is a Premier Inn plus a Travelodge, both within walking distance to our studio. The Upper House in Barlaston is a 4 hotel situated in beautiful countryside which is a 5 minute drive away.
To book, please get in touch.
If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
You will be provided with all materials and an apron to wear on the day.
Liquid refreshments will be provided but you will need to bring a packed lunch.
I wanted a one day throwing lesson for my friend Rina who was visiting from Holland, I could not have made a better choice, Mathew was just perfect. Rina wrote her review (sic) “It was a wonderful gift. A few hours on Saturday, Mathew taught me basic techniques for working with pot turning + same relevant tools. At the end of the day I was able to make my own idea for a clay jug on the disc. It was a perfect day.” Thanks from both of us.
Richard Adams - - #24481
Response from Dimbleby Ceramics - Beginners Studio pottery Courses:Thank you Richard,it was lovely to meet you both. It was great to see Rina achieve her goals during the day and go away with the confidence to use her new skills.
I bought a voucher for my dad so he could throw a pot (I had to keep him company of course!) we had such a great time we booked a second trip to decorate our many pieces, and managed to throw another two large pieces as well! Really lovely space to work in and lovely guy to teach us! Mathew is really easy going and patient, but also makes sure you get the most out of the time you have with him and shows you a range of techniques. So happy with our creations, can't wait to see them fired! 100% recommended :)
Rosie Green - - #24192
Matthew gave us an excellent overview of how to use the potters wheel with one to one instruction, and we totally enjoyed ourselves! It was a lovely creative day that flew by and we learned all kinds of new skills. Thanks Matthew for your careful instruction- we can’t wait to see the fired results!
Lindsay West - - #24055
What a great day we had! Mat and his wife were very welcoming. He outlined the day over a cup of coffee and then took us to his impressive studio at the bottom of his garden.
We began hesitantly but quickly gained confidence from his enthusiastic, expert tuition. He has a very easygoing teaching style, is relaxed and chatty. With his encouragement we managed to complete several pieces ranging from a simple bowl, through cream jugs to attempting a chalice by the end of a thoroughly enjoyable and productive day.
From walking in with a degree of apprehension, we walked out having completed so many pieces all thanks to Mat!
Derek and Hazel - - #22869
Yet another excellent day at the wheel with Mathew; he constantly encourages me in developing new and exciting skills.
Who would have imagined that I could create storage jars, plus lids; even the ones that collapsed!!!
Thank You Mathew
LESLEY WILLS - - #22681
Response from Dimbleby Ceramics - Beginners Studio pottery Courses:Hi Lesley,
What a brilliant day! As a complete novice to pot throwing, I had no idea what to expect, but with Mathew's excellent teaching I made a lot more pots then I had envisaged! I cannot recommend the course highly enough.
Sarah B - - #22307
Response from Dimbleby Ceramics - Beginners Studio pottery Courses:Hi Sarah,
I booked the course as a birthday present for my husband, Barry, and I went with him to observe.
What a wonderful day! When we arrived we were greeted by Mathew and Rachel who are a lovely, welcoming couple.
The course was wonderful. Mathew is an exceptional instructor and communicator. With Mathew's easy instruction and patience Barry was soon comfortable with the equipment and clay and within a short while was looking like a proper potter himself! He came away from the day with a feeling of great accomplishment having made three jugs and several dishes - all proudly displayed in our kitchen for family and friends to admire.
If you've always had a desire to try a "bit of pot-throwing" go nowhere else. Mathew is a master craftsman and a brilliant tutor - you could do no better.
Thank you Mathew for your instruction, enthusiasm and "joie de vie" - you have fulfilled a life-long ambition in the most perfect way.
Wendy Arnold - - #22089
Going on the course with my three daughters, I could not have imagine that learning a new skill would be such fun. As a complete novice with pottery and clay I didn't think that I could achieve anything worth taking home. But with Mat and Rachel's teaching skills, their patience, their enthusiasm and good humour we all stretched ourselves to reach creativity levels we didn't know we had. Thus resulting in producing some unusual and rather good works from the four of us.
Mat and Rachel welcomed us to their house and studio, they both have the ability to make strangers very comfortable.... the coffee and cakes were rather good too!!!
I am looking forward to meeting again when collecting our precious collection.
Thank you again.
Virginie Eckersley - - #21708
Response from Dimbleby Ceramics - Beginners Studio pottery Courses:Hi Virginie,
After an excellent weekend on the course I genuinely cannot recommend it enough! Not only did we learn a fantastic new craft, we made beautiful bowls and had such a laugh doing so. We loved the friendly relaxed feel and just cannot wait to go back again. Thank you
sophie - - #21672
Response from Dimbleby Ceramics - Beginners Studio pottery Courses:Hi Sophie,
What an outstanding weekend. So much more personal than we were expecting. Both supportive and pushing us to be creative, and the results were fantastic. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much whilst also learning. I can’t wait to go back!
Lucy Barry - - #21667
Response from Dimbleby Ceramics - Beginners Studio pottery Courses:Hi Lucy,
I attended the beginners course over a year ago and was hooked!!!
Mathew's endless patience, skill and enthusiasm is infectious and I now have a class every month; what an amazing gift from my brother in 2018.
Thank you Mathew, for so generously sharing your passion for pottery.
Give it a go!!!
lesley wills - - #21545
Response from Dimbleby Ceramics - Beginners Studio pottery Courses:Hi Lesley,
It was, without doubt, one of the best things I've ever done, spending a day with my wife throwing pots under the expert eye of Matthew. He is an incredible teacher, by the fourth pot I actually felt pretty confident on the wheel and got great results that we will actually use day to day in our home. Can't wait to eat noodles out of a bowl I threw myself. He made the day such fun too. If you want a pottery experience with solid results to remember the day by, choose Matthew. And where better to do it than at The Potteries?
Glenn Hickling - - #21391
Response from Dimbleby Ceramics - Beginners Studio pottery Courses:Hi Glenn,
I recently attended a one to one 'Throwing Wheel Workshop' day with Mathew for a birthday gift from my partner. It was the best gift ever - I had such an amazing day. Having been a little apprehensive beforehand, any fears were soon alleviated from the moment I arrived. Matthew and his wife Rachel welcomed me into their home and Mathew very quickly put me at ease in using the wheel. As the day progressed, my confidence grew and I managed to make 6 items (3 bowls and 3 jugs). I was amazed that they even looked a proper shape! I learnt so much in a day and it was so therapeutic and a good distraction from life's stresses! I'm looking forward to seeing the finished products once they have been fired.
I would highly recommend the day to anyone. Mathew's instruction, humour and patience really helps to make the day so relaxing and enjoyable. Thank you Mathew.
Rachel - - #21190
Response from Dimbleby Ceramics - Beginners Studio pottery Courses:Hi Rachel,
What a fantastic day my daughter, my partner and I had with Matthew at Dimblebey Ceramics.
We were made to feel so welcome. The course was fun and Matthew was an excellent teacher. We were all complete novices yet each of us went home with several pieces of pottery. Many thanks.
Fiona Galbraith - - #21101
Response from Dimbleby Ceramics - Beginners Studio pottery Courses:Hi Fiona,
Yes, we very much enjoyed the experience - Andrew had such a great time he is seriously looking at taking up throwing as a hobby. I can't tell you how wonderful it was for me to see him so absorbed in something that wasn't work-related.
I counted 17 vessels in total. Large or small, they each represented a unique challenge for us first-timers. Of course, much of what we achieved was down to your can-do character, your time-honoured techniques and the clarity of your teaching.
Couldn't help but notice how working with clay demonstrates many serendipitous life lessons - from the firm grip that's needed for centring, to slowing the wheel at key moments and when to stop fiddling. A big favourite was that if any project doesn't work out, we can just recycle it and start afresh with a new piece.
So for me, clay work represents the perfect blend of meditation and creation - 'One could spend a lifetime throwing the perfect pot and that life would not be wasted,' (to steal a quote from The Last Samurai).
Our best regards.
Esther Pepper - - #21038
Response from Dimbleby Ceramics - Beginners Studio pottery Courses:Hi Esther,
Thanks Matthew for a fantastic day. My daughter and I loved every minute and even surprised ourselves. Your help and patience in teaching us how to produce some great pieces shows how you can teach novices in such a short time!! We look forward to collecting our pieces and putting them to use. We would recommend you and look forward to returning one day soon. Thank you
Louise Evans - - #20887
Response from Dimbleby Ceramics - Beginners Studio pottery Courses:Hi Louise,
Thanks again Mathew for a fabulous return visit. I really enjoyed the day and very pleased with difficult shapes you helped me to master, especially the tankard. Hope to see you again soon.
Ian Rushton - - #20831
Response from Dimbleby Ceramics - Beginners Studio pottery Courses:Hi Ian,
Easily enough equipment and space for 2 people to be taught at the same time. A good day for my daughter and I. We both made some bowls and jugs. Looking forward to seeing the final results when we get them back.
Sally Rowney - - #20578
Response from Dimbleby Ceramics - Beginners Studio pottery Courses:Hi Sally,
I was a complete novice and quite nervous about attending the workshop , but Mathew was so friendly and patient , I soon relaxed. I'm looking forward to collecting my pottery pieces in a couple of weeks .
Helen Herbert - - #20366
Response from Dimbleby Ceramics - Beginners Studio pottery Courses:Hi Helen,
I did a one day wheel throwing session with Matthew recently. It was an excellent day. It was fairly intensive, which is exactly what we wanted and we got quite a bit more done than we expected. I'd not gone near a potter's wheel before and would have been happy with anything vaguely resembling a pot, so I was a tad sceptical of Matthew's claims that we would get a range of finished wares made that day that we could use in the home. The instruction was top-notch however and I was really pleased with the half a dozen pots and jugs I made on the day. Matthew is a very capable instructor, whose passion for his craft really comes out in the way he teaches. The day is well structured and very practical; quick coffee then straight into the clay, all hands on, all day. I would not hestitate to recommend this course to anyone who wants a really practical, enjoyable introduction to wheel throwing.
Gavin - - #19903
Response from Dimbleby Ceramics - Beginners Studio pottery Courses:Hi Gavin,
My son and I have just had a superb day on the beginners pottery course.
From learning the basic techniques to progressing in our own directions, learning from our errors and having the space to experiment. Matt was generous with his knowledge and patience. Thank you.
I would be willing to bet that whatever you might want from a day like this you won't leave disappointed.
Sarah - - #19647
I booked the potters wheel workshop as a birthday present for my husband . Both myself and my husband attended and had a fantastic day . Having no experience at all using a potters wheel , I came away feeling like I had learnt new skills . Matthew was very friendly , clear with his instructions and patient . An excellent day , would love to attend again sometime to build on the techniques I learnt . Thankyou Matthew .
Kerry Brown - - #19629
One day pottery course with Mathew Dimbleby
I cannot praise this day highly enough.
Before going, I had only had one very short session on a potter’s wheel, but I needn’t have worried.
Mathew is an excellent, patient teacher, willing to spend as long as it takes to help you along the way.
Seldom have I been so focused, or felt the same sense of achievement as I did during this class. It was also really good fun - Mathew is a top bloke, and we found plenty to chat and laugh about during the day.
It has really whetted my appetite and I can’t wait to do more.
Thanks very much Mathew.
All the best
Dave Clarkeson - - #19363
The course was so much fun, starting right from the basics as I'd never done anything like this before. Matthew was friendly and professional and made it a very enjoyable day. I'd recommend it to anyone.
Hayley - - #19094
I had an excellent day learning throwing from Mathew.
His relaxed hands-on style really helped me to pick up the techniques involved in throwing. This was my first experience on a potter's wheel. Mathew taught me how to throw bowls & jugs. He gave me leeway and choices to impact the design of the final pieces as well, which gives a much more personal feel to the output.
I'd recommend Mathew's course to anyone who wants to learn how to throw. I'd do it again tomorrow!
Daniel - - #18548
For at least the last five years I have wanted to go on a course of throwing but have been plagued by illness and injuries. So last week when I was 'mended' enough I jumped at the chance to book something. I did a lot of research and even though there are many tutors closer to home I really felt I should follow my instincts not to mention glowing reviews. So glad I did!!
Mathew and his wife Rachel are delightful. I had an horrendous journey and arrived flustered but Mathew immediately put me at ease and I knew we were going to have a great day. He is a exceptionally talented tutor - calm, methodical, friendly, knowledgeable and kind. Not every potter can teach how to centre clay or show a beginner the ropes. I was delighted with the results and absolutely know I want to learn more - in fact have thought of little else since I left his studio. Bizarrely every pot I have picked up since I have scrutinised and run my fingers through it's 'walls' I am now on a big drive to find funds for my own wheel. I seriously cannot thank Mathew enough.
Shelley - - #18171
I received a days experience on the potters wheel as a birthday gift from a friend. Upon arriving at Dimbleby Ceramics myself and my friend were met by Matthew and were instantly made to feel welcome by himself and his wife, Rachel.
As I had never done any pot throwing before i was a little apprehensive, but there was nothing I had to worry about. Matthew is a very good teacher, is very patient and put me at my ease quickly.
The workshop was nice and warm and within minutes we were on the wheel working on our first bowl! Under Matthews calm instruction it seemed only a few minutes had passed and I was sitting in front of a bowl that I had made! I couldn't believe it! The day could have ended there and I would have been happy.
To cut a long story short, before the day had ended I had many more bowls, jugs etc, each time learning another technique. My friend and myself have done a few experience days in the past and this has to be the best I have done so far.
Anyone looking to do a course on a potters wheel could do no better than booking one with Dimbleby Ceramics. Definitely a five star experience.
Mark Elsmore - - #18131
From the moment we knocked on Mathew's front door we found a warm welcome and a great communicator.
Mathew went out of his way to establish a friendly informal tone, quickly understanding our expectation of the day.
As a couple we started the day with a litle trepidation; I hadnt touched a potters wheel for more than 30 years, and my wife had no previous experience at all.
Mathew skillfully coached us both simultaneously, spotting our mistakes and showing us how to correct them as we went.
Our confidence grew rapidly as our pots took shape in front of us. We achieved far more than we expected, with 6 pots each now waiting to be fired and glazed (all included)
The whole experience was loads of fun and we're keen to return very soon to learn more.
Thanks so much Mathew !
Simon Rouse - - #17609
Amazing experience throughout from learning about the course and booking to getting in the studio.
We had a fantastic day with Mat who's such a friendly and enthusiastic teacher.
We've already recommended to a couple of people and would recommend to anyone looking to throw a bit of pottery!
Pete and Louise - - #17605
This workshop was absolutely fantastic. We had no previous experience of any sort of pottery and so were a little apprehensive about what to expect. We had both wanted to try to throw pots for some time. Mathew immediately put us at ease. He paid close attention to what we were doing and so could show us when we were doing things right and wrong. We learned a lot of the basics and through the course gained a bit more of a feel for the clay and how to throw different forms. Mathew is a very genuine person and a great teacher. We thoroughly enjoyed the day and would wholeheartedly recommend this course to anyone who is interested in gaining a new skill.
Thanks so much for an amazing day in so many different ways. It was very relaxing and very informative.
Caroline & Ian - - #16990
As a complete beginner I had no experience of throwing clay, However after just 1 day with Mathew I had learned enough of the basics to enable me to take what I had learned home and develop my skill. Mathew is a very experienced teacher, very knowledgable, patient and clear in his instruction. I made 5 forms during the day, 4 Bowls and a jug. I learned how to centre clay, cone up, open out , pull up the clay wall and use tools. Having dedicated tutoring time really makes a difference in how quickly you can pick something up and I would recommend this day without Hesitation to anyone who seriously wants to learn a new skill. The day is relaxed and friendly and you come away with a sense of achievement , Thanks again Mathew
Karen Robinson - - #16927
Spending a day learning how to throw a pot with Matthew was brilliant.I shared the day with my daughter and we were amazed how many different items we made.Matthew guided us through each stage of the process in his wonderful pottery workshop.Its definitely inspired us both to do more with clay.
Susan koszak - - #16500
I had a fantastic day, it had been 40 years since I had last thrown a pot and under Matthew's guidance it seemed like yesterday. I had a very productive day making cylinders, bowls, jugs and dishes and even went off piste throwing different shaped pots I had sketched out myself over coffee. I highly recommend this course for all abilities.
Sheila Dempster - - #16192
Had a fantastic half day with Matthew, excellent teacher, really friendly, helpful and most of all patient.
Neither me nor my mum had been near a potters wheel before yet we managed to throw and shape 8 devent bowls/jugs each !! All thanks to Matthews's amazing guidance.
Highly reccommend this to anyone, such a great day, challenging but really fun. I definitely plan on trying the next course.
Thanks for a cracking day Matthew.
Liam bartlett - - #15366
Great course, thank you Mathew, just what I needed. I had already tried the potters wheel at another studio but felt frustrated with my throwing skills. I was ready to give up. After reading the reviews on Mathews course I decided to give it another try. It's all true, Mathew's enthusiasm and endless patience revived my confidence. Whilst he is obviously an accomplished potter, he is happy to go at your pace. I really enjoyed the day and came away with pots to be proud of. I would thoroughly recommend this course to anyone, who like me, is new to throwing and wants to learn and have fun in a welcoming and friendly environment.
Kirsten - - #14981
Having read the fantastic reviews about Mathew's potters wheel throwing for beginners I asked Mathew whether he could organise a half day pottery workshop to entertain my family with partners (8 of us), to which he duly agreed.
Mathew and his wife Rachel (herself an art teacher) welcomed us into their workshop where half of us worked on building with clay under the supervision of Rachel, whilst the other half of us got to grips with the potters wheel under expert tuition from Mathew. Half-way through the session we swapped around which meant that each of us managed to throw 2 pots on the wheel, as well as produce a Dutch canal house in clay. All will be fired and glazed by Mathew for us to collect later.
Mathew and Rachel made this a real fun family experience. None of us had done anything like this before, but all of us would love to do it all over again! We'll be back....
Harald Van der Linden - - #14866
My wife and I attended the Potter’s wheel throwing for beginners. What a brilliant day, we didn’t want it to end! After a warm welcome we ventured into Mathew’s studio. Mathew is an excellent teacher. He gave really clear instructions on the wheels and we were soon centering the clay ourselves.
The pace of the course was really good. Really good fun and lots of banter with Mathew.
With both me and my wife on a wheel each, we got quite competitive, we pushed each other along.
By the end of the day we had pots, bowls, jugs and some more bespoke pieces shall we say. We even got a chance to turn some partially dried pots too.
Looking forward to seeing the fired pieces in a few weeks’ time.
I would definitely recommend this course to anyone looking to try out throwing on a pottery wheel.
Vijaya and Rav - - #14588
Thank you for an absolutely wonderful day! We were both completely new to throwing and the session was suitably tailored to our abilities, providing us with an overview and understanding of the basics in a relaxed environment. This resulted in us both gaining confidence throughout the day and producing some really nice varied pieces by the end! Looking forward to receiving them once they have been fired! Highly recommend!
Alice & Joe - - #14434
Thank you for a wonderful day on the throwing beginner course. It was our first time throwing and found Mathew to be an excellent tutor, talking us through each stage and demonstrating where necessary. We achieved far more from a single day course than I could have ever imagined and we get to take all our pieces home too.
We would highly recommend this course to anyone who fancies having a go at a new skill.
Alexia and Lucy
Alexia & Lucy - - #13939
Thank you for a wonderful day, I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed the day, your company and hospitality.
I was amazed how quickly I picked things up after 45 years, since I had last had a go on a wheel at school.
This was all down to you.
Your studio is excellent and your ability to explain all elements of the art of throwing are second to none.
I have already recommended the course to numerous people and I will arrange a return visit after the wedding.
Ian Rushton - - #13752
I have just completed Matthew's One Day Throwing Course and I can't praise the day enough! I have never thrown a pot before and didn't know if I would be able to do it, so felt a little nervous. No need! Matthew immediately put me at ease, very easy going and chatty so before you know it, you've thrown a pot with confidence. Matthew is a superb teacher and works at your own pace, giving clear and encouraging instruction all the while. I finished the day with some pots that I am so proud of and wanting to continue to learn more. It's great that there is flexibility in booking the course that suits me. If you're thinking about it...do it!
Lisa - - #13613
What a fabulous way to spend a day!
Mathew is an exceptional teacher, with seemingly limitless reserves of patience and humour. My day with him at the potters wheel was completely absorbing and very productive.
LESLEY WILLS - - #13486
Hi Matt, I just wanted to take the opportunity of saying thank you for a very unique experience throwing a few pots yesterday. You have a naturally high level of patience that means even novices like myself can really produce something.
An amazing day had by me and Elizabeth. Thank you and would recommend you to anyone asking.
Andrew Stone - - #12538
I would recommend this course to everyone. Matthew deserves the "excellent" rating. I thoroughly enjoyed the days course! Matthew was an enthusiastic, methodical, patient teacher and I found learning from him very easy. I made several pots in the morning and due to Matthews excellent teaching I was ready to progress onto making jugs in the afternoon. He talked me through making these and I felt so confident I made 2!! If you are thinking of learning wait no longer, look no further book a course with Matthew.
Carole Hassall - - #12283
Thank you Mathew for a most enjoyable day. Your hospitality, patience and teaching skills with a true beginner was amazing and I produced pots I never thought possible. The studio and surroundings are truly delightful. The course was a 70th birthday present from my children and I couldn't have enjoined anything more. Anyone wishing to try the art of throwing won't find a better teacher than Mathew and it certainly will be a day to remember.
Suzanne Gilchrist - - #11150
What a fantastic day! Mathew put us entirely at ease and taught us how to throw pots with patience and care. He has the ability to ensure you learn step by step and that you are able to complete each step entirely independently before moving on. Everyone will succeed on this course and absolute beginners should not hesitate to have a go. You'll be amazed by what you produce! Thank you Mathew - we will be back to see you again, without doubt!
Claire Hubbard - - #10886
This has to be one of the best courses I have been on. We travelled from London to do this course. I have always wanted to give pottery a try but concerned about my experience. Mathew put me at ease, he is a fantastic teacher with an easy-going but passionate attitude toward pottery. Both my husband and I are beginners, learnt at our own pace and felt incredibly confident by the end of the day. Mathew showed us techniques in bite size practical elements that we were able to replicate. By the end of the day we had created bowls, cylinderical forms and a cat bowl that were all good enough for us to use at home (the competition also grew between us to make more and more technical vessels haha). I wish I could post you pictures to see how far we'd come. We didn't want the day end. I have already recommended this course to friends and family that have asked about it following a social media post about our day. A BIG thumbs up from us for Dimbleby Ceramics.
Robert and Hima Knapp - - #10794
Absolute beginners, my friend and I shared the Potters Wheel Workshop day. With beautiful surroundings and a relaxed atmosphere, we had the most brilliant time. Matthew is an excellent teacher, very methodical and super patient. We’d both thrown a cylinder by lunchtime and Matthew introduced us to bowl making in the afternoon. We left our best efforts with Matthew for firing later (all included in the price) and took our ‘less than perfect’ attempts home for the approbation of our families. A five star rating is simply not high enough!
Carole - - #9894
Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.
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