Breakfast is served each day about 9:00 am. We offer a full
English breakfast with cereals, eggs, bacon,
toast and home-made jams and marmalade. However should you not be able to
face all this first thing in the morning, we will just hand you a cup of tea or
||On week long courses, Monday is devoted to making pots for the wood fired
Raku which takes place on Thursday evening (See Raku
Evening). Heavily grogged clay is used
to handbuild for Raku. All the usual techniques of pinching, coiling, and
using slabs are explored.
| There is also time to experiment with impressed
and relief decoration using sprig moulds for which Deborah is well known (see
The Art of Handbuilt Ceramics by Sue Bruce, Crowood Press). Those who can
throw can make Raku pots on the wheel. Some may also wish to make pots to
be burnished and smoke fired - the timetable is flexible.
||On Tuesday we start wheelwork in earnest. This has
always been Deborah's real passion. She has evolved a surprisingly
successful teaching method. This is based on lots of detailed
demonstrations and individual attention. Deborah's memories of the
pitfalls of being self-taught and the benefit of her experience of
throwing thousands of pots over a long career are obviously
| Even total beginners and those who have struggled at
evening classes soon get the hang of it, whilst experienced makers find
they are making larger, more professional-looking pots.
In between the hard work we break for tea, coffee and biscuits mid morning
Lunches are taken each day around 1pm. An excellent
imaginative menu is served (we should do a cookbook too!) Meals are
all freshly prepared and usually include home-grown fruits and vegetables. A good selection of home made pies, quiches,
pastas, casseroles, fresh salad and vegetables are on offer. With local
strawberries in season and blackberries and apples from the garden. If the
weather is good it's pleasant to eat in the garden. If not, we relax
around the big table in the dining room.
|Tuition and demonstrations resume after lunch and formal teaching finishes
officially around 4:00 pm (usually much later), but students are free to carry
on working as long as they like.
||Over the days we progress to more advanced shapes, trimming bases (turning)
and different methods of making lids and handles.
|By the end of the course most students have an impressive array of mugs,
jugs, jars, bowls and a few have even made teapots.
||On Thursday evening the big event is the Raku
firing (see Raku Evening). Students will
have glazed their work during the afternoon and by about 7:30 pm the wood fired
kiln is at 1000°C and the fun commences, with everyone involved. The
flames and smoke, the wine and food, plus some spectacular glazed pots all make
a memorable evening. A lot of them even look good to the sober eye the
Friday dawns. The mad dash to complete various projects. The
difficult decision of which glazes to choose. The impending return to
reality next week! Will there be time this evening to socialize at the
marina or will you have to work on to finish that pot? Or will you decide
to finish when you come back from the pub?! Life's full of difficult
decisions! Never mind, the workshop is open 24 hours a day. Ideal
for early risers, insomniacs or workaholics!
Week long courses finish after breakfast on Saturday - or Friday evening if
you wish. Your thrown pots will be stoneware fired in an electric kiln in
your choice of glazes (after you leave). You can either collect them a few
weeks later or have them sent for the cost of postage and packing.
Everything mentioned here - meals, teas, coffees, Raku and smoke fired pots,
and 10 lbs of stoneware pots - is included in the fee. We and many of our
regular students feel that this is a very fair deal. These days about a
third of our students have been before or have been recommended to come by a
previous student. We hope that you will be one of the many who have had an
instructive and fun holiday with us.
Relaxing in the garden