What is the course about?
This 6 evening ceramics course introduces the basic hand-building techniques of working with clay and in its final
week gives opportunity to try your hand at throwing pots on the potter's wheel, learning how to centre clay on the
wheel. You will have hands on experience of making your own finished pieces of pottery to take home. You will build
an understanding of the unending possibilities that clay offers as a material and the process required to achieve
finished work. This course gives you time and the expertise to be creative using clay and its related decorating
What students liked most about this course run in 2015/16:
"I enjoyed learning about the different properties of the clay & felt the tutor was very helpful & informative. It was a very good learning atmosphere."
What will we cover?
Everyone will be involved in hands on step by step practical project work to create finished fired pieces that explore
different methods of working the clay. Projects cover a range of making and surface decorating techniques to build
an understanding of how to plan, make and decorate clay work creatively and successfully.
You will decorate clay surfaces using texturing, resist, drawing, painting and simple printing techniques with ceramic colour and glaze.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Creatively explore texture, colour and glaze application on and into the clay surface
- Make a piece of clay work using rolled sheets of textured clay
- Produce a finished piece of pinched and coiled clay work decorated with ceramic colour
- Combine the coiling process with a press moulded base made by pushing clay into a ready made plaster mould.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
No prior knowledge of pottery is required to attend this course. The course is ideal for beginners to pottery or those
who have some basic understanding of ceramic processes.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to understand demonstrations, hand-outs and
health and safety information. You will be invited to take part in group discussion. You should be able to do simple
cost calculations for materials used and be able to do simple visual measurements.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Practical demonstrations, examples of work, discussions, handouts and hands on work. Design research work
outside the course is optional.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
There will be a cost of £1.80 per 500g of clay before the first firing. Porcelain has an additional cost of £14.00 per
bag/ £7.00 per half bag. You may want to bring a note pad and pencil for notes and sketching out ideas. You will
need a pen in weeks 1 to 6 and, in the final week money to pay for the materials you have used.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You will get feedback from your tutor which onto which courses to progress.
Within Build you could progress onto the Build Ceramics course- VR710, the Ceramics Portfolio Course - VR711 or the Diploma Course in Ceramics - VR712, all of which are structured courses that can lead to higher education or independent studio practice.
General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details