Pottery and ceramics

Throwing and turning for beginners with Jo Taylor

Ref: SWE10622


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About this course

Work on your own potter's wheel as you develop your own designs and learn how to work with clay. You will be shown key techniques, including how to prepare and finish work.

Course Description

This course will gently guide you through the throwing process, creating basic cylinder and bowl forms, and turning a foot to complete a bowl form. Everyone will have the use of their own wheel throughout the course.

On the first evening, the tutor will give a talk on her practice and outline the course, looking at examples of inspiring forms.

The first morning will start with fully explained demonstrations of clay preparation, centring and creating cylinders. You will then spend the rest of the morning practising these techniques.

The tutor will spend one-to-one time with everyone, to help build confidence and a solid technique throughout the day. After lunch, the bowl form will be demonstrated, and the rest of the afternoon will be spent working with this technique.

The second morning will start with the demonstration of the turning technique on leather hard work, with an additional demonstration of making handles to add to cylinders if desired. The remaining time will be used to continue perfecting the throwing technique, with a group review at the end.


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

  • Overalls/Apron (preferably cotton or laminated fabric)
  • Old towel
  • Books of interest

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Pottery tools, pottery knife
  • Rough paper or sketchbook 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. Take away your unfired pots for firing and glazing elsewhere. Course reading list: For those interested in reading any books before the course, the following may be in your public library: Advanced Pottery by Linda Bloomfield (Robert Hale Ltd) Ceramics: Tools and Techniques for the Contemporary Maker by Louisa Taylor (Jacqui Small publishing) Ceramics for Beginners: Wheel Throwing by Emily Reason (Lark Books) The Complete Potter’s Companion by Tony Birks (Conran Octopus) The Techniques of Throwing by John Colbeck (Batsford Watson-Guptill) Throwing by Richard Phethean (Blandford) Throwing pots by Phil Rogers (A&C Black) 10,000 Years of Pottery by Emmanuel Cooper (British Museum Press)


Jo Taylor

Jo studied at Bath Spa University gaining Ceramics BA, MA & teacher training qualifications. An experienced tutor, Jo regularly teaches from beginners to MA students. A member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, her work is exhibited internationally in shows such as COLLECT at the Saatchi gallery.


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

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