Large scale throwing – making a Moon jar with Michel Francois

Ref: S6D31662

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About this course

The aim of this course is to fully experience and better understand a more dynamic way to throw large pots using less strength. You will throw sections of a Moon Jar to assemble and use the Korean way of turning, to complete your piece.

Course Description

As you are using larger pieces of clay, there is more body involvement. You will not automatically use body strength, but core strength and you will learn methods to lean into the clay, in order for the clay to open up to you. Michel’s way of teaching is to empower you to immersively experience how to grow the clay on the wheel.

On your arrival day there will be a short introduction on the Moon Jar.

On day one you will cover clay preparation. You will be taught spiral wedging and how to centre large pieces of clay on the wheel. By day two you will be able to throw and centre three times the weights that you were used to throwing before the course. You will be throwing large bowls.

On day three you will throw vessels in sections and learn how to throw in a more dynamic way using less compression in order to gain height which will in turn prepare you for the making of the Moon Jar on days four and five.

By day four you will throw the sections of the Moon Jar and prepare the slip for joining. On day five you will join your sections and throw the lip of your Moon Jar. On day six you will cover the Korean way of turning the Moon Jar.

By the end of the course you will be able to endeavour to make most forms in sections. You will have learnt to prepare, throw, turn and finish large pots to a high standard.

This course is aimed at intermediate potters with good throwing experience, as well as more advanced students.

Please note you need to be able to cope with the physical demands of throwing on a large scale, over the six days.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • On this course the tutor will supply some of the materials including tools e.g. throwing ribs for Moon Jars. Clay and other any materials will also be provided at the College, along with use of basic throwing tools.

What students need to bring

  • Any basic throwing tools you like using (please mark any with your name to identify)
  • An apron/appropriate clothing for the pottery, and covered non-slip footwear
  • Sponge

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 your most successful 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 (no sandals or open toes). Possible equipment restrictions in tutor absence.


Michel Francois

Michel Francois is an artist potter working in porcelain and large-scale stoneware statement pieces. He regularly exhibits both nationally and internationally and was invited in 2019 to exhibit at the Korean Craft Museum. He has shown at the Leach Pottery, Crafts Council’s Collect and more recently at the Hand Collection. He is represented by Studio Pottery London.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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