Pottery and ceramics

Porcelain for beginners – throwing and turning with Jo Davies

Ref: S3D10760


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About this course

Jo Davies is a ceramicist who specialises in using porcelain and will give an insight into the way to work with this material. Learn to throw porcelain on the wheel and overcome some of its challenges.

Course Description

Porcelain is one of the finest clays in ceramics. It has a long history and continues to evolve into contemporary times. Jo Davies is a ceramicist who specialises in using porcelain and will give an insight into the way to work with this material. Learn to throw porcelain on the wheel and overcome some of its challenges.

The first evening will be an introduction to Jo’s work, a discussion of aims and objectives and an opportunity to look at porcelain items brought in by the tutor.

On the first full day we will 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 and encouragement to build confidence.

On the second day we will cover finishing processes of turning, as well as how to make handles and adapt forms made on the wheel.

The final day offers time for further throwing practice for those who wish it and/or completion of pieces. The session will end with a group discussion and review of the work.

You will have use of a wheel throughout. You are likely to finish the course with 6-8 pieces. Due to the challenging nature of the material, this course is for those who have previously completed a beginners’ throwing course and have experience of the throwing technique.


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.

What students need to bring

  • Overall/Apron (preferably cotton or laminated fabric)
  • Old towel
  • Books of interest
  • 10 clean plastic shopping bags

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Pottery tools, pottery knife
  • Rough paper or sketch pad and pencil
  • Natural Sponge
  • Basic tool kits are provided in the pottery for use during the course.
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.Course reading list: For those interested in reading any books before the course, this is a suggested list: 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) Contemporary Porcelain: Materials, Techniques & Expressions by Peter Lane (A&C Black) Porcelain by Jack Doherty (University of Pennsylvania Press) 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)


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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