Work on your own potter's wheel as you develop your own designs
inspired by the ceramic collection at West Dean College. You are
shown key techniques, including how to prepare and work with
This course provides an excellent opportunity for beginners to experience working (throwing) on the potter's wheel. The focus will be on the fundamental preparation of working with clay ready to throw. A basic knowledge on how to throw will be taught. The first evening will start with an introductory talk, a brief overview of the throwing technique and a discussion on forms and shapes within our everyday ware.
On the first full day we start with clay preparation (kneading and wedging) and a throwing demonstration. You will be shown a number of techniques throughout the day and given one to one tuition for your own abilities and encouragement to build confidence.
The second day we cover the finishing processes of turning, but allowing time for further throwing practice for those who wish it. The session will end with a group discussion and review of the work.
The course is limited to eight with everyone having the use of a wheel for the whole course. You are likely to finish the course with 6-8 pieces.
Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above
Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.
6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).
8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.
Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.
From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).
Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.
Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.
Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.
(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)
Firing and Glazing options:
1. Leave any raw, finished pieces that you wish to keep, for biscuit firing, basic glazing and re-firing by the College, for collection within six months.
2. Leave raw, finished pieces for biscuit firing at the College. You can then book a place on a Glazing Day and glaze your own work (allowing 4 weeks for your work to be biscuit fired). This work will be re-fired after glazing and available for collection within six months.
3. Take away your unfired pots for firing and glazing elsewhere.
For those interested in reading any books before the course this is a list of suggestions: Advanced Pottery by Linda Bloomfield (Robert Hale Ltd) Ceramics: Tools and Techniques for the Contemporary Maker by Louisa Taylor (Jacqui Small publishing) Ceramics for Beginners: Wheel Throwing by Emily Reason (Lark Books) The Complete Potters Companion by Tony Birks (Conran Octopus) The Techniques of Throwing by John Colbeck (Batsford Watson-Guptill) Throwing by Richard Phethean (Blandford) Throwing pots by Phil Rogers (A&C Black) 10,000 Years of Pottery by Emmanuel Cooper (British Museum Press)
Tanya Gomez graduated from the Royal College of Art and is renowned for her vibrant large decorative vessels. She teaches from her studio in Lewes, East Sussex and exhibits throughout the UK and Internationally. Associated with the Craft Potters and Contemporary Applied Arts.