Pottery and ceramics

Wheel-throwing with components and hollow forms with Jo Davies

Ref: S3D09406


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About this course

Explore the process of making wheel-thrown porcelain components and hollow forms to create large and unusually shaped vessels that are larger than the maximum weight of clay you can throw in one go. Make both functional and sculptural forms.

Course Description

This course will explore techniques to create forms, that are larger than the maximum weight of clay that you can throw in one go. Jo Davies will demonstrate how she works with wheel-thrown porcelain components and hollow forms to create large and/or unusually shaped vessels. This will involve throwing smaller pieces that can then be constructed into a larger form. It will encourage you to start to evolve your creativity using the wheel as a tool to make either functional or sculptural shapes using stoneware clay.

By the end of the course you will have a grounding of skills to continue to make large vessels or sculptures and have at least one item finished and ready for firing. Jo will offer a format based on vessel shapes for you to follow, but if there is a specific shape you would like to consider in the context of this course, please get in touch with Jo Davies well ahead of the class to discuss.

The tutor would like to make contact with you nearer to the beginning of the course to help with the planning and answer any questions - please see below for details.

You must have spent some time throwing and it will help to be able to centre the clay. However, it is fine to enrol on this course if you feel there is room for improvement in your throwing.


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, 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


  • All clay and tools will be provided in the pottery. However, if you have your own tools, you are welcome to bring them.

What students need to bring

  • Students may wish to look at ceramics exhibitions and events as research, as well as reading Ceramic Review, Ceramics Monthly or Craft Magazine in preparation.
  • Please email the tutor at bookingsoffice@westdean.ac.uk at least two weeks before the start date of your course with your name, details of the course you are attending (i.e. course ref, title and dates) and your telephone number so that the tutor can contact you.
  • Please dress appropriately for a messy class and bring an apron if you would like to wear one.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Pottery tools

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 four 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.

"The course tutor was extremely knowledgeable and informative but also relaxed and friendly and the facilities were excellent!"

Karen, 2019


Jo Davies

Jo is a ceramicist specialising in wheel-thrown, functional and non-functional objects in porcelain. She has taught at all levels, including undergraduates, for 15 years and is a respected practitioner, a member of the Craft Potters' Association and regular contributor to Ceramic Review Magazine.


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

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