Beginner’s Bundle: BUILD
BUILD begins by celebrating low-tech, no-fuss – it’s been done for millennia – approaches to making pots by hand. Through demonstrations and practice you’ll become familiar with ancient approaches to forming and constructing pots. You’ll then progress to more recent, albeit still traditional, approaches to manipulating clay. You’ll start and finish pots during each session and then learn how to glaze your own work.
Sessions are 2.5 hours long and you should expect to make 1-4 pieces in each session. That’s a lot of pots in a 6 week course.
We accept two people on our courses at the studio.
Our Short Courses are bundles of our Ceramics Tasters and are designed to provide you with an overview of different ceramic techniques and processes. Each bundle has a focus such as building, adaptation or embellishment. Bundles typically comprise of six sessions and occur weekly.
- Post production costs: firings and glazing.
- Booking fees.
Terms and Conditions
Please review our full Terms and Conditions before you book. Late cancellation and changes to agreed bookings incur charges.
What you need to know
This experience is for adults (18+) only.
Finished works, fired and glazed (where needed), will be available for collection from Sunken Studio within 28 days after the session. If you are unable to collect we can arrange for your work to be delivered for £10 per address.
It’s standard workshop practice to wear flat, sturdy shoes with covered toes. Please protect your feet.
Rings and long fingernails can be problematic when working with clay – please consider this when booking.
Sunken Studio is housed in a period property with steep steps leading into the property, and down to the studio. Unfortunately there is no lift access.
If you have any concerns about specific access requirements please contact Sunken Studio.
This six-week bundle covers:
Pinch a pot of perfect poise.
PINCH is a great introduction to understanding the working stages of clay. You’ll work on a number of small bowls and consider the placement of your fingers, thumbs and hands to control form and surface. You’ll develop an awareness of how clay changes from plastic to leather hard and begin to adapt your crafting sensibilities to work with the material’s characteristics. In addition to pinching, you’ll also explore approaches to developing surfaces through pressing, carving and beating.
Roll it, bend it… just a little bit & shape it…
COIL is an energetic and spirited introduction to coil building. You’ll compete with each other to make the most even, longest and thinnest coils, and then race to build forms and outdo each other’s technical prowess. You’ll learn how to regulate pressure to roll your own coils and build striking forms – we’ll be celebrating a bit of healthy rivalry.
Coil pots are built using lengths of clay fixed together – a line is taken on a journey. What constitutes a coil pot can be open to interpretation: traditionally they are made using cylindrical lengths placed on top of each other. Layers are often directional and rhythmical – introducing visual and tactile patterns as well as demanding systematic approaches to making. Managing the plasticity of clay at all stages of the process can equate to agility training for potters.
Who dares, wins. This is a high-risk session – it focuses on process rather than finished pieces. It may not be possible to fire the results.
Stretch those upper arms – you’ll be doing a lot of rolling.
JOIN is an introduction to the basics of building pots with slabs of clay. You’ll learn how to roll out consistent slabs and cut out pieces to assemble pots. Joining clay is essential to successful slab building so we’ll show you a range of approaches to help keep your pots in one piece.
Slab building involves cutting, folding, bending, draping, wrapping and fixing two-dimensional shapes, to make three-dimensional forms. It’s useful to think about slab building through allied processes – think pattern cutting, paper engineering and flat pack furniture. The aim is to envelop/wrap or assemble a form with sheet/flat materials: it is a highly adaptable method of construction.
Do and do again.
PRESS is an introduction to small batch production. You’ll explore how to reproduce shapes using plaster moulds and then customise your pieces with wire loop cutting tools. This one is for biophiliacs: you’ll be making small indoor planters – ideal for succulents and other small plants.
Press moulding is a quasi-industrial method of production. Moulds enable the consistent repetition of form but have the flexibility to act as starting points for further adaptation.
Drop and Roll
To DROP may feel counter-intuitive, and even sound destructive, when it comes to clay – it can be, but not in this session. We’ll introduce you to drop moulds and show you how to use gravity to shape clay. You’ll learn how to roll out consistent slabs of clay and then tease, stretch and tap, to form simple bowls and plates. You’ll also explore how to customise rims and apply texture.
Drop moulds are an alternative to plaster moulds. They are easy to make with basic tools, do not require specialist mould-making skills, light, easy to store and can be recycled – great for beginners and those concerned with sustainable practices.
Peanut butter and/or jam? Let’s introduce a little colour and explore surface.
COAT is an introduction to glazing. You’ll review glaze characteristics, prepare glazes for application and then learn how to apply glaze to the pieces you have made.
Glazing is the process of placing a glassy coating onto a ceramic body – it’s a discipline concerned with colour, surface and functionality.
Prerequisites: none, designed for beginners and anyone wanting to refine existing skills.