Wheel-throwing with components and hollow forms with Jo Davies

Pottery and ceramics

Ref: SLW12537

Book now

Places available

About this course

Explore the process of making wheel-thrown porcelain components and hollow forms to create large and unusual 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

You will be taken through a step-by-step process to create a set shape, as well as developing your own forms. The tutor will demonstrate how she works with wheel-thrown porcelain components and hollow forms to create large or unusual 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 in porcelain.

The beauty of working in this way is in giving you a method for making pieces that are larger than the maximum weight of clay you can throw in one go for both functional and sculptural forms.

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

You must have spent some time throwing prior to the course, but you do not need to be at an advanced level. It will help to be able to centre the clay and have some confidence pulling up the clay, but anything you make can be adapted to take into account your skill level.

Everyone will have the use of their own wheel throughout the course.


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 until 9pm, 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

  • You 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 to discuss the course.
  • A apron is advisable.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Pottery tools
  • Available from tutor:
  • List items to buy from the tutor
Firing and glazing options: 1. Leave any raw, finished pieces, which 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. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals, and safety boots, if specified.


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.

Courses of interest

Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or a Diploma in Art and Contemporary Crafts (10 three-day study blocks, over two years). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.

Sign-up to be the first to know

Sign up to our Short Course enews to hear about new courses, late availability and get creative inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.