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Thursday, 7 August 2014

Ceramics Summer School at Hills Road Sixth Form College

This post is moving slightly away from Printmaking, but I wanted to include this update on the arty happenings of the summer!

This July I was given the opportunity to teach the Ceramics Summer School at Hills Road Sixth Form College. I showed a group of 5 adults a range of techniques and how to use them over the five days. We studied pinch pots, coils, slab building, throwing, slip decoration, press moulds, air traps, glazing techniques, the use of oxides, burnishing and the possibilities of combining glass with ceramic work, to name but a few!

I really enjoyed working with the small group, as it meant each student got lots of attention and encouragement, which made it possible for them to achieve some really great outcomes. They were also really open and responsive to experimentation, and using it to inform their progress over the course. Each person paid attention to the various tutorials they were shown, but it was interesting to watch how they all took my advice in completely different directions.

The 5 day course was split over 2 weeks, with the weekend in between, as I made use of this time to bisque fire the work. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in Week 1 were days allocated for making. We were very lucky with the hot sun outside, which helped to dry the work, ready for it's first firing.

When the students returned on Monday I taught them various glazing techniques, which they were then free to get started with, and continue the following day.

Here are some pictures and videos taken throughout the course (courtesy of Emma Wilshaw).

Slab built sculpture inspired by the work of Richard Deacon, made from a paper tenplate.
A wind-chime made from pinch pots to be strung together to make a jointed fish after glazing
Alex working on a slub built sculpture
A birdbath made from a press mould, drying out in the sun
Helping Alex construct her piece
Pouring glaze and dry-brushing oxides on the bottom of the birdbath to the left
Glass feature in the bowl of the birdbath after it's final firing
A little cat bowl by Carys

Pam's collection of owls making use of low temperature, brush-on glazes
A bowl made in a press mould by Carys making use of glaze and glass as form of decoration

Emma's final sculpture

And a few video clips from demos....