The Ceramic Studio is thrilled to unveil its upcoming Guest Potter Workshops, set to take place in the Spring/Summer of 2024. The lineup includes 14 renowned potters, each bringing their own unique flair and expertise to the table. These workshops are a fantastic opportunity to expand your knowledge, refine your techniques, and gain invaluable insights from some of the most distinguished ceramicists.
The Ceramic Studio is based on a beautiful orchard in Brenchley, Kent. The Studios are light and airy with spacious, open-plan layouts. Our pottery classes are run by experienced, dedicated tutors and class sizes are small to ensure everyone’s needs are met. We warmly welcome everyone, from complete beginners to experienced potters.
With each Guest Potter Workshop, you will be treated to state of the art materials and tools, along with indulgent refreshments and a delicious two-course lunch every day. The Ceramic Studio will welcome you on the first day with a sumptuous breakfast.
They require a 20% deposit to secure your place in one of these workshops. Prices and full details are available on the studio’s website.
If you’re joining from afar, fear not! Their team is happy to assist with recommendations for local accommodation and travel arrangements to and from our studio. So why wait? Embark on an unforgettable journey of creativity, learning, and inspiration with The Ceramic Studio’s Guest Potter Workshops.
Craig Underhill: Slab Building & Surface Mark Making
May 7-10, 2024
Craig Underhill returns to the studio to deliver his popular and unique workshop in May 2024. This course will focus on techniques for making clay slabs, constructing 3D forms from slabs and then incorporating mark making and surface texture to enhance the forms.
Craig will be demonstrating some of the ways in which he works to design, conceive and create his pieces and will show students a variety of different techniques to achieve a range of results. Craig will share the slab building techniques that he uses as well as a range of surface marking techniques that can be used to produce painterly surfaces. This includes using engobe, slip, impressing, grog and sand, monoprint and stenciling.
Students will be shown how to cut, reassemble and rejoin in order to produce unique finished pieces using a variety of colours and marks. There will be opportunities for students to discuss their work on a one-to-one basis as well as part of the wider group.
A firing of the test pieces made on day one is planned and we will encourage students to keep, and finish, a few carefully selected final pieces. These will be fired and be ready for collection a few weeks later.
Each student will have their own dedicated workspace and will receive plenty of individual attention. Please note, there will be a small additional firing charge for final pieces.
Craig was born in Glasgow, he graduated with a Higher National Diploma in Ceramics at Harrow College, then achieved a BA(Hons) Fine Art specialising in ceramics at Portsmouth Polytechnic. He has taught extensively and became a selected member of the Craft Potters Association in 2005. Craig’s work is influenced by his surroundings, places and landscapes. He now lives and works in West Cornwall.
Jane Sheppard: From the Ground Up – Coiling with Clay
May 13-15, 2024
Jane Sheppard joins us for a three-day coiling workshop in May 2024. Jane’s aim is to give students confidence to progress independently and introduce them to the very human, uplifting joys of coiling.
This three-day course is devised as an access to those in the earlier stage of their hand building journey. Jane will share her experience as practitioner, lecturer, teacher and Interfaith Minister to guide students through what clay is, how to prepare it, look after it, work with it and refine it. Over three steady-but-full days students will become familiar with clay properties and coiling skills. Learning through demos and practice, students will meet common difficulties and learn how to avoid them.
Students will gain a thorough, gentle and inclusive grounding that will enable them to progress independently. Students will discover what they need, what they don’t, and have a bank of tips embedded by practice.
On day one students will ‘Get Started’. Students will learn clay preparation techniques, receive an introduction to clay types and an introduction to pinching and coil-making.
On day two students will ‘Become Familiar’. Students will work with moulds, join clay, work in clay-time, control form.
On the final day students will ‘Gain Confidence and Execute Decisions’. Students will learn how to attach handles, refine their skills, burnish and incise. Please note, there will be a small additional firing charge for final pieces.
Jane has worked with ceramics since training as a teacher in art and design in the late 1980s, quickly discovering her passion for handcoiling and natural low-fired decoration. She developed her own resist techniques, exhibiting nationally including Selfridges London, St Ives gallery and Gallery 27 in Cork Street London, represented by Kate Chertavian Fine Art who was then David Bowie’s art agent.
Jane developed her ceramics career as lecturer in Art and Design at Bath College for 15 years, teaching all ability levels. Jane began training as an Interfaith Minister in 2016, ordained in 2018. After a year teaching in the OSIF faculty she returned to hand building; the core passion of her life and heart of her ministry. Jane’s work now centres on the metaphorical language of clay and the value of making.
Elaine Sheppards Bolt: Porcelain Assemblages (Hand building with porcelain and found objects)
May 17-24, 2024
This two-day course will focus on techniques for hand-building delicate nature-inspired porcelain pieces and look at ways of combining them with found objects to create unique vessels, sculptural forms or assemblages.
This is a two-day course across two weeks. This is to allow for a firing in between sessions.
On the first day Elaine will demonstrate some of the ways in which she works and show a variety of techniques that students can use to work with both porcelain and mixed media.
Students will explore techniques for using nature as inspiration for pieces with porcelain, including; modelling flowers, berries and leaves; pinching small pots; colouring with oxides; using paper clay and using nichrome wire. Students will also investigate how their collection of found objects from nature (such as twigs, feathers, seed pods, or beach finds) can be used and combined with the porcelain pieces they make.
Day one will focus on working with porcelain. These pieces will then be fired ready for the second part of the workshop the following week.
Day two will include looking at your collection of found objects and your fired porcelain pieces and investigating ways of combining them to create a unique assemblage as a wall piece, vessel or sculpture.
Elaine will bring a selection of found materials which the class are welcome to make use of. Students are also encouraged to bring their own found and natural materials for using in the class – examples include driftwood or twigs, interesting leaves and seeds, beach finds, thread, etc. Please note, there will be a small additional firing charge for final pieces.
Elaine Sheppard Bolt is a ceramic artist working with clay and mixed media, creating pieces and compositions guided by a sense of narrative and steeped in the context of her local surroundings. Her work includes mixed media wall pieces as well as hand-built and thrown porcelain vessels.
Elaine Sheppard Bolt has an MA in Ceramics from UCA Farnham and has several years teaching experience. She works from her studio in Brighton and exhibits her work widely in galleries and specialist craft events across the UK.
Justine Allison: Hand Building with Porcelain
May 20-21, 2024
We are very excited to have Justine Allison return to the studio in May 2024 to deliver her popular ‘Hand Building with Porcelain’ course. Students will learn how to build fine porcelain pieces using Justine’s delicate techniques.
This course will focus on techniques for making clay slabs, then joining these slabs to become vessels. Justine will show students some of the ways in which she works and will demonstrate a variety of different techniques students can use to achieve a range of results.
Students will explore methods to add pattern and texture to their work and Justine will explain the role of underglazes and simple clear glazing in her work.
There will be no specific kiln firing during the week, however, we will encourage students to keep, and finish, a few carefully selected pieces. These will be fired and be ready for collection a few weeks later (there will be a small additional firing charge).
Each student will have their own dedicated workspace and will receive plenty of individual attention. There will be opportunities for students to discuss their work with their fellow students and on a one-to-one basis with Justine. Please note, there will be a small additional firing charge for final pieces.
Justine has primarily hand-built with porcelain since leaving Camberwell School of Art in 1998. Her work explores the simplicity and beauty of clay as well as incorporating pattern, texture and glaze to create unique variations. Justine grew up in London and re-located to rural Wales in 2003 where she now lives and works.
Andrew Tremain: Advanced Throwing and Form
May 22-23, 2024
This is an intensive two-day advanced throwing course, focusing on shape and form. This course is aimed at those who are already able to throw on a pottery wheel to a good level and wish to improve their technique and further their ability to shape and form the clay.
Andrew Tremain joins us from Australia to deliver this advanced throwing workshop. Within this workshop Andrew will guide students in throwing large vessels, concentrating on form with emphasis on the shoulder and neck of the pieces.
Andrew will focus on proportions and placement of the shoulder, belly, base and neck of each piece.
Students will then learn how to trim long, thin and fluted necks, changing the angle around the shoulders.
Andrew will give multiple demonstrations throughout the workshop and students will receive plenty of individual attention.
Please note, this is not a crystalline glazing workshop. Students will be able to glaze their pieces at a later date using the glazes available at The Ceramic Studio, but the crystalline glazes used on Andrew’s own pieces will not be available. Please also note, there will be a small additional firing charge for final pieces.
Andrew Tremain is a ceramic artist who was born in England, emigrating to Australia in 2005. Andrew now lives in Western Australia where he makes crystalline glazed ceramics from fine white porcelain clay. The inspiration for his forms comes when he is throwing the clay on the wheel, focusing on creating curved forms that enhance the crystals that form in his glazes. His crystalline glazes have a high glass-like shine that captures the light and makes the crystal formations pop out from the surface that result in subtle depths of surface. Andrew’s pieces create a horizon of heights, shapes and colour variations that are a pleasure to live with.
Robert Goldsmith: Production Pottery
May 27-31, 2024
Robert Goldsmith from Selbourne Pottery joins us for this five-day intensive workshop in May 2024. This workshop will focus on production pottery and throwing repeat forms to a consistent standard.
Within this intensive five-day workshop students will learn to throw a variety of vessels repeatedly to achieve a consistent form. Robert will give demonstrations throughout the workshop as well as guiding and assisting students individually.
Robert will teach students to spiral wedge their clay as well as giving an understanding of weights and measurements of clay in relation to vessel size. Students will practise repeat throwing vessels to specific measurements maintaining quality and consistency. Robert will also advise students on preparing an efficient workspace to achieve effective production pottery.
Throughout the five-days students will learn to efficiently throw bowls in a range of sizes, mugs, vases, salt pots, lidded pots, teapots, serving dishes, large jugs and lamp bases. Robert will also teach students to make and attach handles to the mugs, jugs and teapots.
By the end of the course, students will have learnt techniques to improve the efficiency and consistency of their throwing, and will be able to accurately produce a number of the same size and weight vessels. Please note, there will be a small additional firing charge for final pieces.
Robert graduated from West Surrey College of Art & Design in Farnham in 1984. He established Selbourne Pottery over 35 years ago in the beautiful and historic Hampshire village. Each piece of his stoneware collection is hand thrown and decorated. Rich blues and deep red glazes decorate the pots. The lustre range adds a luxurious opulence not normally found on studio pottery.
Jo Davies: Throwing, Building and Kiln-Firing Techniques
June 3-7, 2024
Jo Davies will teach a combination of wheel-throwing and kiln-firing techniques across this five-day course. Jo Davies specialises in wheel-throwing, often using techniques that use wheel-thrown components to build vessels to make them either large, asymmetrical or unusual in some way. She has also recently written the book, ‘Electric Kilns for Ceramics’, published by Crowood Press, which specialises in guiding makers through kilns and kiln-firings.
Through demonstrations, conversations and one to one help Jo will guide students through building with wheel-thrown components to create their own work, either enabling them to build larger objects that go beyond the maximum quantity an individual can throw in one, or to build more creatively at either a large or small scale. Outcomes can either be functional or sculptural but will all be made using the wheel and using stoneware clay.
The throwing element of this course will also be interspersed with teaching that focuses on kilns, guiding you through kiln-packing for bisque, glaze firings and many of the fundamentals of this side of the ceramic process. The aim of this element of the course is to enable your independence in a studio-setting, giving you the skills and knowledge to be confident in running your firings, which could be at your own studio or in a communal setting. Individual questions and concerns about your kilns, or future kilns, can be raised with Jo informally throughout the course.
Please note, there will be a small additional firing charge for final pieces. Please see our Student Contract (below) for details.
Jo Davies is a Royal College of Art MA graduate and her practice includes hand-making fine porcelain design ranges, lighting and unique objects. Her individual approach to wheel-thrown ceramics, where high-fired porcelain often appears paradoxically to be fresh off the wheel, balances softness with rigidity, smoothness with weight and tactility.
Jo exhibits internationally and has worked with, amongst others, the National Portrait Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the Hepworth Wakefield, Somerset House, Heals and the National Trust. Her work is held at the Contemporary Ceramics Centre in Bloomsbury, alongside other stockists, and the Cheongju International Craft Competition holds her work in their permanent collection. Her practice has been supported by the Crafts Council and Arts Council England. She splits her time between her workshop in East London and her home studio in Hereford.
Adam Frew: Throwing with Porcelain
June 10-14, 2024
We are extremely lucky to have Adam Frew return to The Ceramic Studio in June 2024 to deliver his ‘Throwing with Porcelain’ course. This course will focus on throwing a variety of porcelain pieces in various shapes and sizes, then learning to glaze in Adam’s signature style using sharp lines, crayon scribbles, brush marks and sponged back sections.
This workshop will focus on using the wheel to create a variety of thrown porcelain vessels. There will be regular demonstrations throughout the week and Adam will give all students one-to-one guidance.
Students will gain confidence in using porcelain and improve their throwing technique, learning to create ambitious pieces. There will be flexibility in the teaching allowing students to request specific demonstrations or help with a particular project or technique.
Adam will demonstrate his various decoration techniques, showing students how to create energy in their mark making, and students will be encouraged to be experimental in their approach.
This is an intensive making and refining course and there will be no specific kiln firing during the week, however, we will encourage students to keep, and finish, a few carefully selected pieces. Each student will have their own wheel and will receive plenty of individual attention. Please note, there will be a small additional firing charge for final pieces.
Adam is a potter based in Northern Ireland who works in porcelain, creating thrown functional and large one-off pots. During his studies at Belfast Art College, Adam spent time at the historic Winchcombe Pottery and in Finland with Judy Makela. Upon graduating in 2004, he undertook a two year apprenticeship with Lisa Hammond where he gained the confidence to set up on his own. He lives in Aghadowey in Co. Derry with his family and works and teaches there from his own purpose-built studio.
Ali Tomlin: Decorating and Mark Making in Porcelain
June 17-19, 2024
We are very lucky to have Ali Tomlin with us for this three-day workshop in June 2024. This workshop will focus on decorating and mark making on thrown porcelain vessels.
This three-day workshop will focus on throwing pieces such as stem vases and bowls, with porcelain. The pieces will then be trimmed and then decorated using Ali’s beautiful mark-making techniques.
Ali would like to encourage students to bring inspiration with them to the class: sketchbooks, scrapbooks, anything at all. Ali will be encouraging students to play with how to apply marks and colour to the raw, dry clay.
This course is suitable for those with some porcelain throwing experience and an interest in surface decoration. Please note, there will be a small additional firing charge for final pieces.
Ali Tomlin creates wheel-thrown porcelain. She uses porcelain for its smooth, white surface and quality which creates a canvas for making clean, elegant shapes. Using careful decoration and adding colours and marks she creates her well-known range of contemporary ceramics. Working with the dry, chalky surface, Ali applies a bold, but muted palette of stains, oxides and slips, splashing and sponging away areas, adding inlaid and sgraffito lines, aiming to create imperfect and unpredictable marks. Some decorating is carried out on the wheel and some through mono-printing, brushwork or splashing to convey a feeling of movement and spontaneity. Ali has always been passionate about drawing and design, enjoying the energy of random lines or marks whether in a sketch, a painting or while beachcombing. Ali says that she loves working with colour, line and marks, and luckily there’s a never ending supply of them!
Alice Mara: Make your own ceramic home – Using slab building and decal techniques
June 20-21 and July 11-12, 2024
We are extremely excited to have Alice Mara join us in June and July 2024 to deliver this dynamic and unusual ceramics course. The main objective of the course is for students to build a wonderful and realistic version of their own house using slab building techniques and photographic transfers. Students will also have the opportunity to make a number of other buildings within this exciting course.
This workshop will be split into two parts. The first two days will be spent hand building the structure of each student’s house or building and the second part will take place two weeks later once the pieces have been bisque fired and glazed. When students return for the second part of the workshop they will learn to use photographic transfers to bring their structures to life.
The first part of the workshop will be spent creating the structure of houses/buildings. Students will be asked to bring in pictures of their chosen house or building and, using these, Alice will assist students in working out how to create the main body of their building.
Alice will demonstrate how to roll the perfect slabs to achieve the right clay consistency, and how to attach slabs to each other to make sturdy, robust models. Throughout the workshop Alice will give demonstrations on how to create features such as chimneys, bay windows, balconies, and any other, unique feature of each building.
As well as building their own house, students will also have the opportunity to create some additional buildings using paper template. Alice will show students how to use slabs of clay to create different architectural styles.
There will be a two week gap until the second part of the workshop, to give time for the pieces to be bisque fired and glazed in white. During this time Alice will also create transfers for the bespoke houses ready for the students when they return for part two.
The second part of the workshop will involve learning how to apply the photographic transfers to the glazed structures. Demonstrations will be given on how to cut and line up the imagery and ensure a smooth application.
The final day will see students perfecting their models with Alice’s guidance. Students will be able to colour match their imagery to fill gaps and Alice will give her tips of the trade on how to fix any imperfections using secret techniques that she has developed over the years. Please note, there will be a small additional firing charge for final pieces.
Alice Mara is a ceramic artist with over twenty years’ experience and is widely acclaimed for her skilled craftsmanship and innovative designs. She is confident and ambitious in her work and has won industry awards including the Ella Doran Award for Best New Designer, the Queensbury Hunt Award for innovative use of ceramics, and the Royal Academy of Scottish Art Award for Best Female Sculptor.
Tanya Gomez: Throwing Bigger
June 24-28, 2024
This course will focus of throwing large in stoneware. The aim of this course is to give students the confidence and skills to throw larger pieces of work and throughout the five-day workshop you will learn several techniques on how to do this.
Tanya Gomez joins us for a five-day workshop in June 2024. Tanya is a celebrated ceramicist renown for her porcelain vessels in her signature lustrous colours.
Tanya will give demonstrations throughout the course. Time will be spent throwing several pieces from 2kg – 3kg of clay to construct tall structures. Students will experience the methods of throwing, slapping the clay out and then throwing the clay walls up, as well as making slips and assembling the thrown pieces together. This will then be expanded with 4kg – 5kg of clay which will be hammered out and thrown.
Students will learn about the consistency of clay and when to assemble. There will be several different techniques of making larger pieces, from coiling, slabbing and additional pieces.
There will be demonstrations on various surface textures with colour slip and decorations. These skills can be practiced on pieces that have been made. Students will also learn about how to glaze a large vessel by pouring and the discussion of spraying work. This will include how to check thickness and consistency of the glaze.
Each student will have their own wheel and will receive plenty of individual attention. Please note, there will be a small additional firing charge for final pieces.
With an MA in Ceramics from the Royal College of Art, Tanya’s process is practice-led. Developed from traditional methods and disciplines Tanya has honed her skills over the last 15 years and uses dynamic throwing, cutting and assembling techniques to create large cylindrical shapes. Impactful both individually and as a group, her vessels create expressive, vivid landscapes and fluid, architectural forms.
Katharina Klug: Throwing & Altering Porcelain Forms
July 1-5, 2024
We are very lucky to have Katharina Klug return to the Ceramic Studio in July 2024 to deliver her popular ‘Throwing and Altering Porcelain Forms’ workshop. This five-day workshop will explore throwing a variety of porcelain pieces in various shapes and sizes, then altering these thrown forms.
Throughout this workshop students will be using the pottery wheel to create a variety of thrown porcelain forms, as well as exploring how to make shape alterations to these vessels.
Students will gain confidence in using porcelain and will improve their throwing technique, learning to create unusual shapes and ambitious pieces. There will be regular demonstrations to show students a variety of different techniques for altering forms and Katharina will tutor students on a group and an individual basis to inspire, encourage and build confidence.
This is an intensive making and refining course and there will be no specific kiln firing during the week, however, we will prompt students to keep, and finish, a few carefully selected pieces. These will be fired and be ready for collection a few weeks later.
Each student will have their own wheel and will receive plenty of individual attention. Please note, there will be a small additional firing charge for final pieces.
Katharina is now based in Cambridge, but she was raised in an Austrian pottery and has had a fascination for clay since she was a child. Shape, pattern and colour are all integral to her practice; her beautiful porcelain vessels feature patterns inspired by observations from her environment and glossy versus matt are central themes throughout her work.
Emily Myers: Throwing, Faceting & Carving
July 15-19, 2024
We are very lucky to have Emily Myers return to The Ceramic Studio in July 2024 to deliver her ‘Throwing, Faceting and Carving’ workshop. This course will focus on throwing a variety of vessels in various shapes and sizes, and then learning how to carve and facet the forms with precision and elegance.
On days one and two of the workshop a variety of bottles and vases will be thrown by all students. Emily will give demonstrations and provide one-to-one guidance to students to improve their throwing technique.
The vessels thrown on the first two days and will be ready to be carved and faceted on the subsequent days. This is a chance to change the circular thrown pieces into new interesting forms, and to explore new sculptural and decorative possibilities. Emily will show students how to use a range of tools to achieve different carving styles and students will be guided to improve their confidence and carving technique.
This is an intensive making and refining course and there will be no specific kiln firing during the week, however we will encourage you to keep, and finish, a few carefully selected pieces. Each student will have their own wheel and will receive plenty of individual attention. Please note, there will be a small additional firing charge for final pieces.
Emily Myers is a Crafts Council selected maker and member of the Craft Potters Association. She has demonstrated regularly at Art in Action and other craft fairs. She has had solo shows at Beaux Arts in Bath and Contemporary Ceramics in London. Her work has also been shown in Tel Aviv, Hamburg, Paris and New York.
Emily is often asked how she achieves such even lines, and the answer is: a steady hand and a good eye. She marks out the lines in segments before carving the pot. This time-consuming process has an almost meditative feel to it.
The potter’s wheel is central to Emily’s studio practice. However, she is not limited to the circular nature of the thrown pot. She has extended her repertoire of forms by faceting, carving and altering the pots at the leather hard stage. Most of her pieces are then glazed in barium glazes.
Emily’s vessels take various forms, but all are very carefully controlled and although they feel organic, they often include elements that are geometric or even mechanical in nature. Some forms are painstakingly carved with a looped wire modelling tool to form parallel grooves. The accuracy of the carving is achieved purely by eye, a steady hand, and a great attention to detail.
Richard Phethean: Earthenware Throwing and Slip Decoration
July 22-26, 2024
We are very excited to have Richard Phethean come to the studio in July 2024 to deliver his ‘Earthenware Throwing and Slipware Decoration’ workshop. This will be a thorough and colourful six day introduction to terracotta pottery making combining throwing, slab-building, extruding and tile making with surface decoration using coloured clay slips.
This course will provide a disciplined and creative environment where students will learn solid, practical skills and improve the quality and aesthetic integrity of their finished thrown work. Students will also receive a thorough guide to decorating using slipware techniques.
Students will look at the history and contemporary practice of slipware pottery making, learn to mix and test their own colours, experiment with traditional tools and techniques, study contemporary uses of resist, transfer and layering, and develop personal decorative themes.
Novices will receive a comprehensive introduction to the basic principles and techniques of throwing and others a thorough review of their existing skills before progressing on to new challenges. Each student will have their own wheel and will receive plenty of individual attention, but will be encouraged to pursue their own agenda. Please note, there will be a small additional firing charge for final pieces.
Richard makes thrown, altered and assembled vessels with brushed slips and resist techniques. His current work combines references to ancient pottery, European slipware traditions and early twentieth century abstract painting. He is a long-established professional potter who is exhibited widely in the UK and Europe. He is a Fellow of, and recently retired as, Chair of the Craft Potters Association.