Pottery and ceramics

Hand built ceramics with inlaid coloured clay with Jane Abbott

Ref: SWE09202

Suitable for all

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About this course

Learn how to mix coloured clays to roll designs into slabs of clay. From these, create vessels, bowls and jugs for firing.

Course Description

Enjoy learning to mix coloured clay to create designs and painterly effects imbedded into rolled slabs of clay. From these slabs you will build a selection of forms and vessels including tiles, plaques, bowls, and jugs, as well as trying out ideas of your own.

The aim is for you to become confident about your choice of surface decoration after experimenting with different media to inspire you. Having rolled out the clay you will see how easy the process is and how individual you can be with the techniques you choose to adopt. Ultimately you should feel pleased to have successfully produced a selection of finished pieces ready for firing.

You will learn a little about the origins of clay and how stains and oxides are produced for our use as well as some basic ceramic terminology. Mixing your own coloured clays will give you an understanding of the simplicity of the task.

The broad range of reference material provided to inspire and experiment on paper with paints and pastel will give you the confidence to make decorative patterns and designs before inlaying coloured clays within the clay.

Preparing your decorated clay ready to cut at the leather hard stage will lead you to the enjoyable task of making the three-dimensional shapes of your choice. You will be taught the tricks of joining your slabs so that it will enable the form to survive through its drying and firing stages.

We will even learn from each other as we experiment and change the rules.

You will leave the course knowing how to colour clay using body stains, how to roll out slabs of clay and confidently imbed them with your own designs and how to make vessels and forms from your decorated slabs leaving them to dry ready to fire in the kiln.


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).

What students need to bring

  • Sketch books
  • Photographic inspiration
  • Books of interest
  • Overall or apron
  • Cardboard boxes for taking work away

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Pottery tools
  • Natural sponges
  • Brushes

Firing and glazing of raw, finished pieces: You have three 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 4 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.


Jane Abbott

Jane Trained at Brighton and Goldsmiths in the 70s. She has been making and teaching ever since. Ceramic Review commented on her dedication to teaching. Her work is mostly shown at Rye Gallery, in Suffolk and in Brighton; in November 2015 she will be at 'MADE' in Brighton. Her recent residency at Portsmouth Grammar School prepared the teachers to deliver Ceramics within the curriculum.


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

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