This course tells you all you need to know to make work that is safe for the user. This covers glaze stability and food safety, pots for the kitchen, and all the other aspects of producing good, safe, functional work. Note that it does not go deeply into glaze formulation and glaze chemistry. All aspects of product safety are covered, giving you the underlying theory, the means to test pieces, how to improve the design, and the relevant standards and legislation. The first section of the course looks at glaze leaching, what we mean by food safety, testing of glazes, and crazing. Attention is also given to all the items that may be used on the table or in the kitchen. Also producing pieces that are frost proof. And general considerations such as stability and waterproofness. By the end of this course you should be able: - Understand glaze stability and how to test it - Understand glaze leaching in both alkaline (dishwasher) and acidic (food) environments - Understand what is meant by "food safe", which materials in glazes are potentially toxic, and how you can assess commercial glazes - Understand the effects of thermal stresses on clay and glazes, and how to design to minimise them - Understand the requirements to make pieces safe for the dishwasher, oven, microwave and freezer, and methods of testing their behaviour - Understand the mechanisms of frost damage to pots, and the design and material considerations in making frost proof pieces - Understand the level of waterproofness needed by different pieces, and how to test it - Assess whether a piece is sufficiently stable for its purpose - Understanding the issues in making electric lamps both safe and compliant with the regulations as easily as possible - Design candlesticks and other pieces with an open flame - Understand the legislation and standards covering product safety and testing

What's included in the price?

Each week there is a live session, lasting about an hour and a half. The recording is put onto the course web page, so you can review it afterwards if you wish. The presentation is downloadable. There is also additional (optional) material to read on the course page.

What you will need

If you wish to try any of the demonstrated tests you will need a number of small bowls, glazed and fired, that you don't mind getting damaged, and access to a kitchen.


9 hours

Cancellation policy

Easy - Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts



Tim Thornton Ceramics

with Craft Courses since 2020

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Tim Thornton has been a potter for over 12 years. Coming from an earlier career in science and engineering, he is well suited to the technicalities of the craft. He has used this knowledge to create a series of courses that deal with the more technical aspects of ceramics.

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Seniors
  • Teenagers
  • Wheelchair users
  • Limited mobility
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced/pro level
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What does this mean?
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This course is taught online