Exploring Japanese pottery with Rie Tsuruta

Pottery and ceramics

Ref: SLW11398

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1 place available

About this course

Explore simple Japanese pottery to make vases, bowls, mugs and plates. Techniques include spiral wedging, hand building (Tebineri), wet slab making (Katatsukuri) and leather hard slab building (Itatsukuri).

Course Description

Explore some simple Japanese techniques that are not commonly used in this country. You will experience how to do spiral edging, making a vase or dishes by Himotsukuri (coiling), a little box by Kurinuki (hollowing a lump of clay), a tea bowl or a cup by Tamatsukuri (thumb pot), and a plate by Tataratsukuri (slab making) on a hump/press mould, or on a coiled clay (wet slab). Then learn brush drawing or printing techniques to decorate your pieces.

Each piece will be decorated by Japanese brush drawing or slip decoration techniques, such as Hakeme, Mishima and Katagami. You will be encouraged to get inspiration from West Dean Gardens and design your patterns and drawings for the decoration.

By doing this course, you will learn Tebineri (the basic Japanese hand building) techniques which can be developed and used for more advanced pieces of your own.


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, glazing and firing costs (large work in size and quantity may be charged extra).
  • Basic tool kits are provided in the pottery for use during the course.

What students need to bring

  • Overall/apron (preferably cotton or laminated fabric)
  • A sketchbook, pencils and pens to do some drawings

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Pottery tools, pottery knife
  • Rough paper or sketch pad and pencil
  • Natural sponge
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. You take away your unfired pots for firing and glazing elsewhere. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. You may need safety boots, if specified above.


Rie Tsuruta

Rie Tsuruta studied at the University of Brighton and the Royal College of Art. Her own work is made to be held, felt and used in the centre of people's lives, and to provoke a sense of intimacy and awareness of touch. She has exhibited at Flow Gallery, London, Ceramic Art London and was shortlisted for the 2014 British Ceramic Biennial FRESH Award.


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

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