In brief…

Pottery Novice Nights  are suitable for adult learners. This class is for beginners as well as anyone with some experience in pottery and ceramics, but it is mainly aimed at beginner level. You are welcome to join us for a one-off class as a pottery experience, or to attend multiple Pottery Novice Nights as suits your schedule.

You will learn in our beautiful ground floor courtyard garden studio right in the heart of Shepherd’s Bush in West London. We have free after hours on street parking and excellent public transport links.

Times and Duration

Each class is two hours long. There is a Novice Night on each Friday evening from 7pm till 9pm during term time, for a duration of 10 to 13 weeks, depending on the length of the school term. There are no Novice Night classes at half term, in the holiday breaks between terms or on public holidays. The schedule is available on our term timetable (please see Term Time & Holidays link above). These classes are designed to be attended on a drop in basis.

Class description

Adult Pottery Novice Nights provide a relaxed environment in which the teachers respond to the requirements and enthusiasm of the learners. This is a creative space in which you can pursue learning the craft and art of clay at your own pace. If you ever wanted to have a go on the potter’s wheel, why not make a Friday evening of it?

Each Pottery Novice Night class is seen as a training-wheels assisted departure into the world of creativity. Our tutors will do their best to ensure a fun-filled, positive and relaxed environment is created to get students’ creative journeys on the go.

First time one-off pottery experience

If you’re joining us to give pottery a go for the first time, we have a fun filled schedule for you!  You will spend half the class learning to make a pot on the wheel and the other half making a small hand built piece. If you arrive on an evening when there are wheels available for everyone, we will be spending the entire class working at the potter’s wheel (and getting messy – don’t worry, aprons provided, but don’t come in your best suit. If you’re going out afterwards, bring a change of clothes).

In the pottery wheel (throwing) project you can expect to make a cylinder (cup/beaker shape) or a bowl. The hand building projects vary from week to week. Popular projects have included making salt and pepper pots, coin/jewellery dishes, tiles as table savers or coasters, trays, spoon rests, small animal and bird sculptures, chop stick and cutlery rests, Christmas decorations (when it’s that time of year), gift tags… Not all classes will include both components though, some nights it’s pottery wheel only.

If you’ve been before

For those who have fallen in love with pottery (like all of us at Kite Studios!!!), you may choose to engage with short projects chosen to teach you a range of basic techniques, or pursue a project of your own with professional support from the teacher.

Included in the price

The price of this class includes all your material costs such as clay, slips and glazes. Shared tools, aprons and towels are also provided. A bisque firing for your two favourite pieces is also now included in the price (size restrictions apply – but most standard size cups and bowls are covered!) .

The nature of clay…

When booking this single drop-in class, please be aware that working with clay is a multi-step process. While small hand built pieces, such as pinch pots or small sculptures, can be finished in one session, if you want to keep the work, it is best to have it fired.

If you would like to glaze it yourself and have it glaze fired, you will need to book a second class. We offer Independent Pottery Glaze and Fire Sessions and also our Friday Glazing evenings (Ceramic work doesn’t necessarily need to be glazed. Firing will keep it from crumbling away or turning back into mushy clay if some water gets on it. Fired work can also be painted with acrylics or oils, and sprayed with a water repelling spray. Or bake-on-in-the-oven paints are available from some art suppliers as well). But if you want it completely water proof and food safe, glazing is the best way to go.

Wheel thrown work often requires three sessions – one to make it, the second to trim (tidy the base), decorate it and make any additions, such as handles, and the third to glaze it. As part of Friday Novice Nights we offer a service in which we tidy the base of each pot for you before firing it, so there is no need to come back for a trimming session. Hand built or sculpted work often can be made and decorated with slips in one session, but you will need a second class to glaze it.

Possibilities…

GLAZE IT: £18 per person per hour.

Come to one of our Friday Glazing evenings! Last Friday of every month, 7pm-9pm. Or book a Pottery Glaze and Fire Independent session, flexible times and dates. Both include an introduction to glazing with one of our pottery teachers and use of a wide range of bright, coloured glazes. When booking, please put your ID number/s in the notes field so we can have your work out and ready for you when you arrive.

INDEPENDENT WORKING: £18 per person per hour
.

Book an Independent Pottery session
 (experienced potters/ experienced returning students only)
. This session does not include teaching and you must complete an induction at your first session. Flexible times and dates.

MORNING DROP IN CLASS: £42 per person for a 2 hour drop in class.

We also offer drop in classes in the Adult Pottery Studio on some weekday mornings. Learn to trim, decorate, make additions such as handles and a variety of glazing techniques. Class price does not include firing fees. Please note that if you would like us to keep the work you made in your Novice Night class damp, so that you can trim or decorate it with slips in another class, you must purchase your follow on class before you leave. Please ask your teacher if you are not sure.

BESPOKE (PRIVATE) CLASSES: from £55 per hour.

Book your own pottery teacher, just for you, for your family or for a group of friends. The larger the group, the cheaper it is per person. Flexible times and dates.

When will my work be ready?

Your work will be ready to collect one month after the class in which you made it, and will be stored at Kite Studios for no longer than three months after the original class date.

You will be issued with a unique ID number. Please be sure to contact us when one month has elapsed and quote your ID number. Unfortunately, due to the administrative load of this task, we will not be contacting you when your work has been fired, or when the storage time period has elapsed. You are welcome to contact us at any time, and if you quote your ID number, we will be able to check for you if your work has been fired.

Timing:

Please note that it takes time for work to dry and be fired, particularly when the weather is cold, work takes longer to dry. The larger your piece, the longer it will take to dry. We can not risk firing damp work as the work is likely to explode in the kiln. Also, during busy times such as in the lead up to Christmas or summer holidays, the demand on our kilns is very high.

We do our best to adhere to the one month deadline for firing for all our customers, and in fact some pieces may be ready sooner. You are welcome to contact us at any time, quoting your ID number, and we will be able to tell you if your work is ready to collect. With apologies, we are unable to rush firing your work or to put it ahead of the work of other customers in our firing schedule. So please don’t ask this of us.

Collecting your work

Please remember to come and collect your work one month after you have made it! The easiest option is to come on a Friday evening when the Pottery Novice Nights are running, at 6:30pm. If you let us know before 3pm that day to expect you, we will have your work ready and waiting for you when you arrive.

Otherwise, our collection times are listed here. Please note that it takes a little time to retrieve your work from our store room, so if you call/email ahead with your ID number you will have less of a wait when you arrive. But please do remember to call us to cancel if it turns out you can’t make it.

We do store it for another 2 months after that, in case you are busy or away. But storage space is at a premium in London and your creations would really prefer to be safe at home with you rather than in our store room. Once three months have elapsed from the date of your class, we have no choice but to donate them to our charitable causes.

In the interests of the environment…

If you have travelled from afar and it is not practicable for you to come back, please consider not having your work fired. Enjoy the experience at your class  and take lots of photos of your creations! Firings take quite a lot of time and energy, both for our pottery team and for the planet.

Who teaches the class

Pottery Novice Nights are taught by Emilia Radlinska, Harijs Lukevics, Valeria Burgos and other members of our pottery team.