You can choose to work on mugs, jugs or flatware or all three. The tutor has a wide-reaching experience in throwing functional ware and will be on hand to guide and encourage you in these techniques. She will also guide your decision on size and shape to work on initially, according to your level of experience. You must already be able to centre and throw a reasonable cylinder.
For consistency of size and shape, those that wish to can work to a pot gauge for the mugs. For the jugs, there will be an emphasis on combining functionality with form. For the more experienced, the challenge of tackling flatware: plates, platters, supper dishes, and low cooking ware may be daunting but the process can be very satisfying, giving confidence to future projects.
The first evening session will start with an introductory talk, followed by looking at and handling historical and contemporary examples of thrown pots relating to the course. The tutor will finish the evening with a throwing demonstration.
On the first two days of the course, we will concentrate on throwing. Turning, pulling handles and applying them to the pots will be the main focus of day three, with time for throwing as well. You will learn various handle making techniques including pulling on the pot, lugs and using an extruder. The tutor will demonstrate all techniques throughout the course. Following this, the tutor will cover plates and platters of various sizes, supper dishes, pasta dishes, and low, open serving or cooking dishes, with side handles or lugs. Earthenware and stoneware ovenproof clays will be available. On the final day, there will be a focus on finishing the pots, discussion on glazing and finishing with a group review.
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)
Alison Sandeman is a long-standing tutor at West Dean. She makes functional individual pieces in stoneware, porcelain and Raku. She has a special interest in outdoor firing techniques.