Pottery summer courses
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About the Course
Our aim is to develop your potting skills, decorative techniques, glazing and firing skills. We endeavour to foster an appreciation of form, its subtleties and variations, and develop an awareness of the long history and richness of pottery. All this in an enjoyable atmosphere, where the experience of the routine in a working pottery and our "from the ground up" way of doing things will ensure you go away with a sense of achievement. We are passing on the knowledge we have acquired over forty years of potting, both in the UK and enriched by experiences working and observing techniques across four continents.
In the course of a week the full scope of a potter's cycle will be covered, from clay mixing to wood-firing. Individual tuition combined with excellent facilities and our working methods will make this an experience to remember.
After an initial tour of the pottery on Sunday morning, 9.30 am start, you will begin the first of three making days. While tutoring ends at 17.00 hours, the studio remains open until 20.00 hours so the energetic can practice. There is a wheel for each student, plus some spare. Teaching is by group demonstration and by individual coaching. All manner of pots, from humble egg cups to giant storage jars, lids, spouts, handles, etc. will be demonstrated. Decoration at this stage can involve alteration of form, adding clay and working with slips. Students work at their own pace on individual projects, taking from the demonstration those elements that most suit their particular aims and objectives.
On Thursday morning you will be finishing your pots and preparing them for glazing. All the glazes are prepared at the pottery using a mixture of our own and commercial materials. In the afternoon Jennie demonstrates and oversees the glazing and decoration of pots. She uses brushes, trailers and sponges with glazes and oxides. After glazing Douglas conducts the packing of the kiln. Most of the pots will be once fired, an established specialty of our work here.
Thursday is also the day for making raku. Using clay mixed here at the pottery we will spend part of the day making raku pots, both by hand and working on the wheel.
Friday is full of action and excitement. Participants take an active part in the firings, often building and firing a raku kiln as well. We usually fire two kilns: a 70 cubic foot two chambered wood-fired kiln to stoneware temperature, and a raku kiln, either wood or gas-fired. The raku pots are glazed, decorated and fired. As with the whole course, the firing process is very much hands on and a chance to discover for yourself the ancient and modern arts of the potter.
Saturday morning is a moment of high tension as the kiln is opened and your still warm pots unpacked. The finished pots are an opportunity for more lessons to be learn t and delights to be savored. After coffee and farewells, students take their leave around midday.
If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above. The voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
All tool and materials are included in the cost. Coffee breaks and meals are usually taken out in the garden. Lunches are provided, using our organic garden vegetables where possible. Good evening meals can be found in a variety of interesting pubs within easy reach. We can arrange bed and breakfast accommodation for you. Our students stay in private homes and farmhouses in or near the village. Alternatives are camping, hotels and inns. (Lists can be supplied on request.)
Wide range of skills was taught, you get a lot of knowledge by the experienced potters who work in the Leach tradition. I appreciated the different kilns including raku, the good feeling for perfect design and the respect for nature in all their work. Both Douglas and Jennie are great teachers, you get good benefit from their courses. And don't forget the good atmosphere and the delicious home made meals!
Elke Mauerhoff-Brandt - - #6750
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Course Start Dates
Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.
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