This course is suitable for all abilities. You will be taught throwing skills appropriate to your level of experience and encouraged to practise. New ideas and methods of making will also be introduced.
For beginners: The course provides an excellent opportunity for beginners to experience working (throwing) on the potter's wheel. On the first evening, we start with clay preparation (kneading and wedging), and the tutor will give a throwing demonstration for all. On the next day, after a short demonstration, you will start learning to throw. On the last day, we will cover the finishing processes of turning, but allowing time for further throwing practice for those who have time. You are likely to finish with 8 to 10 pots.
For those with some experience: The course is also ideal for those who want to improve and develop their throwing skills. This includes making different shapes, increasing size, and learning to get the most out of the clay. Throwing knobs on lids, teapot spouts, bottle shapes, lids and other techniques will be covered. The tutor will give demonstrations where needed.
On the final day, we will be turning, but you may have time for further throwing practice. You are likely to finish with 10 to 15 pots.
Everyone will have the use of a wheel for the whole course.
It will start with an introductory talk and throwing demonstration. This is followed by an introduction to clay preparation, and we finish the evening with a video or slides relevant to 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.
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.
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.
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