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. 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. It runs on Friday evenings from 7pm till 9pm during term time, for a duration of 10 to 13 weeks, depending on the length of the school term. There is a one week break at half term. The schedule is available on our term timetable (please see Term Time & Holidays link above). This course can be attended on a drop in basis.

Class description

The Adult Pottery Novice Nights are designed to 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?

The 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.

In the throwing project you can expect to make a cylinder (cup/beaker shape) or a bowl using the potter’s wheel. The hand building projects vary from week to week and include making salt and pepper pots, coin/jewellery dishes, tiles as table savers or coasters, trays, small sculptures, chop stick and cutlery rests, Christmas decorations, gift tags…

If you’ve been before

For those who have fallen in love with pottery (like all of us!!!), 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.

Techniques you can choose from to learn include throwing, trimming, slab building, pinching, coiling and press moulding. We can also cover a variety of decorating techniques which include working with slips and glazes; including sgraffito, inlay, stamping, mono printing, slip trailing, painting, dipping… the possibilities are endless. Bring in your inspiration, photographs, drawings of what you would like to make and we will help you to gain the skills to achieve it. Please be aware that some projects may require more than one class, depending on the complexity. Also, it may not always be possible to have access to a pottery wheel for the entire duration of the class.

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. You are welcome to bring in specialist clays and glazes provided that they are suitable for the earthenware firings we offer. Firing fees are not included.

Firing fees

There is a charge for firing, which is additional to the cost of the class. This helps us to keep the tuition costs down. It also gives you the freedom to practice and experiment before you decide which pieces you would like to keep, whilst also doing your bit for the environment! For anyone wanting to attend more than one drop in class, the charge is £1 per 100g of weight of your finished work. This price includes both the bisque and the glaze firings. Our firing fees are not for profit. The work is weighed before the first firing. Firing fees can be paid at your class by cash or card.

The nature of clay…

When booking this 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. (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. 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.

We do have a flexible range of options available to suit everyone’s needs and schedules, even if you can’t make it back in to see the rest of the process through personally.

Possibilities…

If you can’t come back for another drop in class to finish your work for yourself, we have a number of options for you:

BISQUE: £5  for up to two pieces.

Bisque (one firing) only. Turn your clay work into ceramics. We tidy the base of each pot, inscribe your name (thrown work) and fire it for you. Bisque fired work is ready for glazing (or painting). Size restrictions apply.

BISQUE AND DIP GLAZE: £10 for up to two pieces.

We tidy the base, inscribe your name (thrown work), bisque, dip in transparent glaze and glaze fire. Comes out beautiful, shiny and delicious. Food safe, oven safe and water proof. Size restrictions apply.

INDEPENDENT WORKING: £15 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.

GLAZE IT PERSONALLY: £15 per person per hour.

If you have opted for the £5 bisque firing and want to come back to glaze your work yourself, book a Pottery Glaze and Fire Independent session. Includes 10 minute glazing induction and use of a wide range of bright, coloured glazes. For anyone who enjoys flexibility and/or doesn’t need a whole two hours to glaze their work. Flexible times and dates.

£30 – £40 per person for a 2hour / 2.5 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.

When will my work be ready?

If you have paid for firing, your work will be ready to collect one month after the class in which you made it, and will be stored in our studio for no longer than three months after the original class date.

You will be issued with an 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.

If you have paid for bisque firing only (£5 option) and would like to come back for a Pottery Glaze and Fire Independent session, you can book this for one month after your drop in class. Please also put your ID number in the notes field when booking online. That way we can have your work waiting for you when you come in.

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 an evening when the Pottery Novice night is runnning, at about 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.

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.

Who teaches the class

Pottery Novice Night classes are taught by Emilia Radlinska and Glena Rodriguez.