Pottery and ceramics

Throwing and turning for beginners with Jon Barrett-Danes

Ref: SWE10201


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About this course

Gain confidence in making pots on the potter's wheel with exclusive use of your own wheel.

Course Description

Learn how to prepare the clay and then practise the art of throwing, with demonstrations and individual guidance from the tutor. This practice-based course is aimed at beginners who would like to learn the essentials of throwing on a potter’s wheel.

On the first evening, you will get stuck in and go through some of the basics. Over the weekend, you will cover wedging techniques, centring clay on the wheel, throwing basic cylinders then moving on to different forms – jugs, vases, plates and bowls. The tutor will go through throwing to specific measurements, repeat throwing, turning and finishing, and also pulling and extruding handles.

You will be able to work at your own pace, and although you may not cover all that is on offer, you will see the potential of what is possible with practice.

After the course, the pots will need to be dried out, biscuit fired, glazed and fired again. You can either enrol on a glazing day if you would like to glaze your own pots, or your pots can be glazed for you at the College. In both cases, you will be contacted when your pots have been glaze fired and are ready for collection within six months.


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

  • Essential: work apron – preferably cotton or laminated fabric. A hair band to tie long hair back
  • Optional: you may wish to bring a sketchbook, notebook and/or camera to record the session.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Pottery tools, pottery knife
  • Rough paper or sketchpad 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 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.


Jon Barrett-Danes

Jon Barrett-Danes specialises in modelling animals and thrown work. He trained at Bristol and has followed a family tradition spanning six generations of working with clay.


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

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