Porcelain for beginners – throwing and turning with Louisa Taylor

Ref: SLW29564

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About this course

Work on a potter's wheel using porcelain clay and learn a number of techniques including how to make handles and surface embellishments. Suited to those who have completed a beginners' throwing course.

Course Description

Often referred to as white gold, porcelain is sumptuous white clay that has a beautiful translucent quality when fired to a high temperature. This course provides an excellent opportunity for you to experience throwing on the potter's wheel using porcelain clay. Due to the challenging nature of the material, this course is better suited to those who have previously completed a beginners' throwing course or have experience of the throwing technique.

The focus of this course is to work in the spirit of Louisa's practice, which is influenced by historical dining vessels. The first evening will start with an introductory talk about Louisa's practice, followed by a brief overview of porcelain and the throwing technique which takes inspiration from this. You are shown a number of techniques including how to make handles and surface embellishments.

The first full day starts with clay preparation (kneading and wedging) and a throwing demonstration. You will be shown a number of techniques throughout the day and given one-to-one tuition and encouragement to build confidence.

On the second day you will cover the finishing processes of turning, as well as how to make handles and surface embellishments.

The final day offers time for further throwing practice for those who wish it and/or completion of pieces. The session will end with a group discussion and review of the work.

Each student will have the use of a wheel for the whole weekend. You are likely to finish the course with six to eight pieces.


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


  • The cost of all clay, glazing and firing costs (large work in size and quantity may be charged extra).

What students need to bring

  • Overall/Apron (preferably cotton or laminated fabric)
  • Old towel
  • Books of interest
  • 10 clean plastic shopping bags

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Pottery tools, pottery knife
  • Rough paper or sketch pad and pencil
  • Natural sponge
  • Basic tool kits are provided in the pottery for use during the course.

Additional information

Firing and glazing options: 1. Leave any 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 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. Course reading list: For those interested in reading any books before the course, the following may be in your public library: Advanced Pottery by Linda Bloomfield (Robert Hale Ltd) Ceramics: Tools and Techniques for the Contemporary Maker by Louisa Taylor (Jacqui Small publishing) Ceramics for Beginners: Wheel Throwing by Emily Reason (Lark Books) Contemporary Porcelain: Materials, Techniques & Expressions by Peter Lane (A&C Black) Porcelain by Jack Dogerhty (University of Pennsylvania Press) The Complete Potters Companion by Tony Birks (Conran Octopus) The Techniques of Throwing by John Colbeck (Batsford Watson-Guptill) Advanced Pottery by Linda Bloomfield (Robert Hale Ltd) Throwing by Richard Phethean (Blandford) Throwing pots by Phil Rogers (A&C Black)


Louisa Taylor

Louisa Taylor studied an MA in Ceramics and Glass at the RCA, London (2004-2006). She is based in Brighton where she produces her ceramic tableware range for shops, galleries and collectors in the UK and internationally. She is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Brighton and a member of the Crafts Potters Association and Contemporary Applied Arts.


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

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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.