Patterned ceramic panels and tiles with Joanna Veevers

Ref: SLW33058

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Places available

About this course

Explore drawing and mark-making using plaster slabs as a surface to engrave into to make ceramic wall pieces and tiles. Initial drawing in the studio and grounds observing line, texture and pattern will inform your drawings on plaster and subsequent casts.

Course Description

This course is about exploring drawing and mark-making using plaster and slips (liquid clays) to create wall pieces and tiles. The emphasis will be on line, surface qualities, texture and pattern.

You will initially work on smooth plaster blocks to carve and draw into to create moulds for your slip cast drawings, exploring different types of mark-making using a range of tools and implements. The process has strong associations with both intaglio and relief printmaking. You will cast your drawings in semi porcelain to make wall pieces and tiles. The technique and materials give scope for very delicate and finely detailed drawings to larger rougher outcomes.

Plaster drawing moulds serve as the vehicle to transfer drawings to clay through the casting process and can also exist as interesting works in their own right. Drawings carved into the plaster can also be used as printing blocks to make fine black and white prints using oil-based inks on Japanese paper, resembling wood cuts and lino prints and capable of communicating very fine graphic detail.

You will follow very structured teaching through specific exercises which can gradually give way to more individual explorations with tutor support and guidance. This course is suitable if you have an interest in drawing and mark-making and if you enjoy working within the disciplines of ceramics, print, textiles, glass and metals and any area concerned with surfaces. You need to have enough hand strength to draw into plaster blocks with etching needles and similar tools.

Ceramic drawings and tiles will be fired for collection after the course.


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


  • Most materials required for the specific project set by the tutor or shared by the group including paper, printing ink, ceramic colours, casting slip, clay, potters plaster and firing costs – large work in size and quantity may be charged extra.

What students need to bring

  • Bring sketchbooks and examples of your work if you wish but this is not essential.
  • A range of paint brushes, pencils and general art kit if you have it, otherwise essential items can be purchased from the shop on the first day.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Paint brushes
  • Lino or wood cutting tools (which can be used for carving into plaster and are likely to be made blunt, so the replacable blades and handle are best).
  • Available from tutor:
  • Additional ceramic colours and extra casting slip for work of a quantity that exceeds what is included in the course fee.

Additional information

Firing and glazing options: 1. Leave a selection of raw, finished pieces for biscuit firing at the College (allowing four weeks for your work to be biscuit fired) and available for collection within six months. 2. Take away your unfired work 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).


Joanna Veevers

Joanna tutors with a focus on surface qualities and 2 dimensional design. She trained initially in Printed Textile Design at Manchester and then in Ceramics at The Royal College of Art. She has 30 years of teaching experience in colleges, universities, schools, museums and galleries. Joanna is a long standing member of 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.