What is the course about?
This experimental ceramics workshop will focus on less conventional ways of making, introducing new and unfamiliar ways of hand building using a variety of different clays. You will be able to explore the potential of glaze-making to create textural surfaces; fire metal and organic objects in saggers (boxes made of clay), and ultimately discover a more immediate expressive approach to ceramic practice.
What will we cover?
This short course will investigate:
- Paper clay, exploring its properties and its potential as a medium for expression.
- Discover the exciting things that happen when you add combustible materials to clay such as saw dust pearlite and rice.
- The making of glazes which will produce textural qualities imitating volcanic surfaces
- Transforming found objects by dipping them into casting slip.
- Saggers - clay boxes to contain metal and organic objects during the firing process.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Explore Paper Clay, its specific properties and how to use and fire it.
- Mix a glaze; test a glaze; evaluate tests and apply to your work.
- Dip combustible materials into porcelain casting slip.
- Develop a more experimental personal approach to making with confidence.
- Prepare experimental work appropriately and safely before firing.
- Fully understand the health and safety guidelines associated with all ceramic practice.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is either for the adventurous beginner or more ideally for those with some experience of ceramic practice.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion. You should be able to use numbers and be able to do simple measurements and calculations.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught through demonstrations, illustrated talks and handouts, individual and group discussions.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
There is a charge of £2.00 per 500g for clay before firing, the porcelain charge is £17.50 per bag/ £8.75 per half bag.
All basic tools and equipment are provided. Please bring additional personal tools if you have them. You will be asked to bring in simple very cheap objects, materials such as a fork, rice, old tea cup and saucer and textured cloth. This will be explained in depth in the first session. Please bring a sketchbook in which to record results and develop ideas. A camera or a camera phone is very useful for making a visual record.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Part-time, full-time courses and workshops are available at City Lit. Advanced students will be encouraged into more adventurous projects. There will also be a glazing session at the beginning of September for those wanting to glaze pieces of work made during the Summer Term (course codes VR767 and VR766).
After completing this course, depending on your level of experience, you may also be interested in VR710 City Lit Ceramics ‘ VR711 Ceramics portfolio course’. Please check the 2019–2020 prospectus for the full range of ceramics courses. Courses may be subject to change
After completing this course, depending on your level of experience, you may also be interested in ‘Structured ceramics course’, ‘Ceramics portfolio course’, ‘Surface printing on clay’ and ‘Throwing and decoration’.
Please check the 2015–2016 prospectus when published, for the full range of ceramics courses. Courses may be subject to change.