Hand building organic forms and vessels with Sue Mundy

Pottery and ceramics

Ref: SWE11319

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Places available

About this course

Taking inspiration from the natural world, learn how to create organic sculptures and vessels using a variety of hand-building techniques. Learn to join different shapes and enhance with coloured slips and underglazes, inlaying, brushing and sgraffito.

Course Description

This course will introduce you to the wide variety of hand-building techniques. With an emphasis on form and texture, you will create a series of organic sculptures and vessels, incorporating the different methods together.

An experimental beginning will give you a chance to play – exploring and manipulating the clay, making shapes and finding new ways to add texture and pattern. These three-dimensional sketches will help to develop your ideas for your final pieces. Other artists’ work will be looked at and discussed throughout the course to offer inspiration and an insight to alternative ideas.

There will be group discussions and tutor demonstrations on pinching, coiling (three different ways), slabbing and press-moulding. You will learn to successfully join different shapes together to create one form. With a greater knowledge of the different hand-building skills you will be able to develop and construct your own designs.

Within the course you will also learn how to use colouring slips, underglaze colours and oxides to enhance the surface textures. Decorating finishes will include inlaying, brushing, layering and sgraffito.

By the end of the course you will have several finished pieces of work ready for firing.


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


  • The course fee includes the cost of clay, decorating/glazing materials and firing costs of work made – large work in size and quantity may be charged extra.
  • The tutor will supply some of the materials including textures and materials to experiment with. Images and reference books of artists whose work relates to the course.

What students need to bring

  • Sketch books
  • Photographic inspiration. Bring along ideas and images of natural forms and structures that inspire you. This can include books, cut outs, images, drawings etc.
  • Collect anything you think might make a texture, from fabric, wallpaper, kitchen tools, found natural objects
  • If you plan to take your unfired work away with you please bring plenty of packaging material, boxes and bubble wrap to ensure its safe journey home
  • Camera and sketchbook to record the journey through the weekend
  • Apron
  • Pottery tools if you have your own

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Pottery tools, wooden and loop tools
  • Natural sponges
  • Brushes
  • Sketchbooks
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. 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. You may need safety boots, if specified above.


Sue Mundy

Sue Mundy trained at North Staffordshire University and has over 30 years of teaching experience. Her work is exhibited through galleries and specialist craft and ceramic events across the UK. Currently she is Artist In Residence at The University of Reading.


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

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