About this course

Learn how to throw on an electric potter's wheel and create several stoneware pots. Please leave at least four weeks after your making course before you book a glazing day.

Course Description

This practical one-day course provides an exciting hands-on introduction to the basic skills of throwing on the potter's wheel.

The day begins with a short look at historical and contemporary wheel made pots. This is followed by a demonstration and then guidance on the all-important process of clay preparation: wedging and kneading.

For the rest of the day, you will be throwing on an electric wheel. Everyone has their own wheel for the course, which is limited to eight students. This enables the tutor to provide the one-to-one tuition and encouragement that will help you engage with this technique. The tutor will give helpful demonstrations throughout the day.

The aim of the course is for you to throw and trim approximately six to eight pots, using stoneware clays.

After the course, the pots will need to be dried out, biscuit fired, glazed and then fired again. You can either enrol on a glazing day, if you would like to glaze your own pots, or your pots can be glazed for you at the College. In both cases, you will be contacted when your pots have been glazed and fired, and are ready for collection.


Timetable for one day courses

Students should arrive by 9am for registration.

Classes are from 9.15 - 5pm

Lunch is included.

Course Materials


  • All the materials and tools will be supplied for the course, including all clay, glazing and firing costs.

What students need to bring

  • Work apron – preferably cotton
  • Recommended reading (though not essential): Throwing Pots by Phil Rogers (A & C Black)

Additional information

Firing and Glazing options: 1. Leave your most successful raw, finished pieces, for biscuit firing, basic glazing and re-firing by the College for collection within six months. 2. Leave raw, finished pieces for biscuit firing at the College. You can then book a place on a Glazing Day and glaze your own work (allowing four weeks for your work to be biscuit fired). This work will be re-fired after glazing and available for collection within six months. 3. Take away your unfired pots for firing and glazing elsewhere. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals, and safety boots, if specified.


Porcelain vases in the kiln

Alison Sandeman

Alison Sandeman is a long-standing tutor at West Dean. She makes functional individual pieces in stoneware, porcelain and Raku. She has a special interest in outdoor firing techniques.

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Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.