Introduction to ceramics

Course Dates: 15/05/23 - 26/06/23
Time: 18:00 - 21:00
Location: Keeley Street
Gain a basic understanding of hand-building, glazing and decoration techniques. Explore your creative ideas whilst learning the exciting possibilities of working with clay. Enjoy a taster experience of throwing on the wheel in the final session.
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Full fee £449.00 Senior fee £359.00 Concession £292.00

Course Code: VR716

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Mon, eve, 15 May - 26 Jun '23

Duration: 6 sessions (over 7 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This 10 evening ceramics course introduces the basic hand-building techniques of working with clay and in its final
weeks gives opportunity to try your hand at throwing pots on the potter's wheel, learning how to centre clay on the
wheel. You will have hands on experience of making your own finished pieces of pottery to take home. You will build
an understanding of the unending possibilities that clay offers as a material and the process required to achieve
finished work. This course gives you time and the expertise to be creative using clay and its related decorating

What will we cover?

Everyone will be involved in hands on step by step practical project work to create finished fired pieces that explore
different methods of working the clay. Projects cover a range of making and surface decorating techniques to build
an understanding of how to plan, make and decorate clay work creatively and successfully.

You will decorate clay surfaces using texturing, resist, drawing, painting and simple printing techniques with ceramic colour and glaze.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Creatively explore texture, colour and glaze application on and into the clay surface
- Make a piece of clay work using rolled sheets of textured clay
- Produce a finished piece of pinched and coiled clay work decorated with ceramic colour
- Combine the coiling process with a press moulded base made by pushing clay into a ready made plaster mould.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

No prior knowledge of pottery is required to attend this course. The course is ideal for beginners to pottery or those
who have some basic understanding of ceramic processes.

You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to understand demonstrations, hand-outs and
health and safety information. You will be invited to take part in group discussion. You should be able to do simple
cost calculations for materials used and be able to do simple visual measurements.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Practical demonstrations, examples of work, discussions, handouts and hands on work. Design research work
outside the course is optional.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Most ceramic materials are covered by the course fee.There is a charge of £2.50 per 500g for clay before firing, the porcelain charge is £20:00 per bag/ £10:00 per half bag. You may want to bring a note pad and pencil for notes and sketching out ideas. In the final week money to pay for the materials you have used.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You will get feedback from your tutor which onto which courses to progress.

Within City Lit you could progress onto the City Lit Ceramics course- VR710, the Ceramics Portfolio Course - VR711 or the Diploma Course in Ceramics - VR712, all of which are structured courses that can lead to higher education or independent studio practice.

Need art supplies? Our partner London Graphic Centre has everything you need from pencil to printing services, at 15% off.

To get an LGC discount card, students will need to show proof/ confirmation of enrolment of them being a student at City Lit. You can apply for our card in-store or by simply emailing with a scan or photo of relevant confirmation. The student discount does not apply to products that are already discounted or on offer. More information can be found here-

Lauren Ilsley

Lauren Ilsley is an artist who predominantly makes ceramic sculpture. She works from her studio in East London, which she set up after graduating from the Royal College of Art with a Master’s degree in Ceramics and Glass. Lauren specialises in combining industrial ceramic processes with hand-building, often modifying tools and techniques to build unique objects. She exhibits her work regularly and is a member of the artist collectives/research groups - Undertow and [ALLOY]. Lauren is committed to teaching alongside her creative practice to pass on her knowledge, skill and passion for ceramics and sculpture. She is currently a ceramics tutor at City Lit and the London Sculpture Workshop; at the latter she helped to design and set up the ceramics facility.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.