Botanical casts and impressions in porcelain paper clay with Lucy Cobb

Ref: S1D33435

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About this course

Work with plants from the sublime walled garden at West Dean to create casts and printed impressions in porcelain paper clay.

Course Description

You will learn to use porcelain paper clay, as a casting slip and the clay body. This clay is a porcelain body combined with flax which creates a unique structure. The principle of this clay is an ancient one used in clay bricks (raw clay mixed with straw) documented as far back to The Bible. It is equally a very contemporary and innovative clay.

You will be taking casts of the plants, seed pods and leaves by dipping and painting the porcelain paper clay on the outside, which will then burn away in the firing, leaving a positive of the plant in porcelain.

You will also roll leaves and plants into the porcelain paper clay to take an impression and textures that can be constructed into tiles or panels.

These can be made paper thin so that once fired they appear translucent through the light. Alternatively, they can be rolled out thicker so that they may be used as tiles, or fragments that can be joined and layered together.

The work will be fired to stoneware temperatures and the flax in the paper clay will burn away during the firing so the pieces will be lighter and thinner.

After the pieces have been fired the work will be available to collect from the College at a later date.

Course Materials


  • On this course the College will supply some of the materials including the clay, the plants from the garden and tools.The cost of clay/glazing materials and firing costs of work made – large work in size and quantity may be charged extra.

What students need to bring

  • Sketch book
  • Pencils/pens
  • Apron
  • Any personal pottery tools that you like to use
  • Organic dried plants and seeds, if you have access to some
  • Camera to document work

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Paper, pottery tools, paint brushes, sketch books, drawing equipment, if you wish to purchase.

Additional information

Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. Safety boots, if specified. Firing and glazing options: 1. Leave a selection of raw, finished pieces that you wish to keep, for biscuit firing, basic glazing and re-firing by the College, for collection within six months. 2. Leave a selection of raw, finished pieces for biscuit firing at the College (allowing four weeks for your work to be biscuit fired). This work will be available for collection within six months. 3. Take away your unfired pieces for firing elsewhere.


Timetable for one day courses

Students should arrive by 9am for registration.

Classes are from 9.15 - 5pm

Lunch is included.

General Information


Lucy Cobb

Lucy studied Sculpture and Ceramics at Edinburgh College of Art. She then established 'Radio', gallery and project space in Berlin. Apprenticed at North Street Pottery, where she now works.
Making for Michelin star restaurants and for their shop. Teaches at Clapham Pottery, Heatherley's School of Fine Art and Chestnut Grove Academy.

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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.