Ceramics with found objects with Elaine Bolt

Pottery and ceramics

Ref: S2D11793

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About this course

Explore techniques with clay and found materials to form ceramic and mixed media assemblages. You will be encouraged to develop expressive work through experimenting and combining materials.

Course Description

On this course, you will explore the making process; looking at techniques with clay and how ceramic pieces can be combined with other materials to form mixed media objects and assemblages. We will make use of found objects to develop inventive and expressive work.

In the first part of this course we will explore ideas and inspiration for projects and themes. The tutor will talk about her work, showing how her ideas have developed and how her work is made, then will work with you to explore your ideas for the course.

Working with porcelain to make pieces that use mixed media as part of the making process, we will explore how found materials and objects can be impressed into the clay or used as a press mould. We will look at how found materials can be used for mono-printing or stencilling on the clay surface, and how materials such as fabric, paper, and rust can be embedded into clay to create different textures and effects. We will also make pieces that can later be combined to form part of an assemblage and use techniques with clay including pinching and rolling to make small pieces and components.

We will consider found objects and how they can inspire ideas or summon memories. We will explore ideas for using and displaying your found object collection and use the outdoor spaces at West Dean College to explore ways of finding and using different materials.

The course will investigate ways of combining these materials to create three-dimensional mixed media collages and objects.

The ideas shared aim to develop skills and enthusiasm for continuing to work with clay and combining ceramics with other materials.


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.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

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)

Course Materials


  • The cost of porcelain clay/glazing materials and firing costs of work made – large work in size and quantity may be charged extra. Some mount board for displaying work, strong clear-drying glue and nicket-chrome wire is also included to share. The tutor will also supply some materials including bringing her own selection of found materials.

What students need to bring

  • If you have them, please do bring any materials of your own you would like to explore using in the workshops – make sure these are items you do not mind playing with (i.e. not too great a sentimental or financial value).
  • Examples of materials you can bring include:
  • Twigs and leaves
  • Fabrics (natural fibres only, e.g. cotton, linen, wool)
  • Textured papers
  • String or sewing thread
  • Any small found objects you have and would like to incorporate into a design
Firing options 1. Fill in the form supplied and 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. Take away your unfired sculpture for firing and glazing elsewhere. Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. Safety boots, if specified.


Elaine Bolt

Elaine Bolt has an MA in Ceramics from UCA Farnham and has several years teaching experience. She works from her studio in Brighton where she also teaches throwing and handbuilding techniques. Elaine exhibits her work widely in galleries and specialist craft events across the UK.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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