Suitable for beginners or those wishing to build on existing skills, this course uses the beautiful house and gardens surrounding the College to provide inspiration in the full bloom of summer. During the week you will make a group of works and decorate them using the architecture, interiors, flora and fauna or landscape to inspire you.
With options for throwing, coiling and press moulding, you will be able to experiment and choose the making technique which suits you best for your main project. The aim is to create forms with a large, clear surface to act as a canvas for the decorating stage; examples would be pots, plates or dishes, which will be suitable for use on the table or in the garden, or as a decorative piece in the home.
During time set aside for exploring the house and grounds, you will record what inspires you through photographs and sketches to use as a start point when considering decoration for your pieces. Sketching in this instance is for gathering information and working through ideas rather than a finished drawing – no previous skills are required.
Using coloured slips and sprigs there will be plenty of time to create delicious surfaces on the work made, which will be clear glazed and fired to a high temperature making it suitable for use in the dishwasher, microwave or garden.
The course timetable consists of over three days of making, time for sketching and a day and a half for decorating, with plenty of flexibility to suit the individual. There is full tutor support throughout the making and design process, with demonstrations and friendly advice whenever needed.
Summer School highlights:
The Summer School week is an immersive learning experience with more time to develop your creativity and embrace opportunities for creative development beyond your chosen course. A detailed timetable for your Summer School week will be given to you on arrival. This will include:
• Short inspirational talks by tutors and displays of their work
• A short creative experience session in another discipline/media or course
• An optional evening at the Chichester Festival Theatre (if pre-booked)
• An optional lunchtime tour of West Dean Gardens, the historic rooms at West Dean College, or West Dean Tapestry Studio
• A celebration dinner on the last evening themed on Impressionism, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first Impressionist exhibition held in Paris in 1874. Feel free to respond to the theme if you wish.
• Informal end-of-course group reviews and displays of students' work in studios
As evening events are planned as part of the Summer School week, dinner is included in the course fee to enable all students, including non-residents, to participate fully.
Timetable for Summer Schools
Several evening events are planned throughout the week, a detailed timetable for the summer schools will be given to you on arrival.
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.
Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.
From 6.30pm: Dinner (included).
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.
Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.
Residential students should vacate their rooms by 10am please.
- On this course the College will supply all of the materials including clay and slip.
- 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
- An apron, or several for the course of the week
- A sketchbook or notebook of any size plus pen or pencil or any material you prefer – alternatively all can be bought from the College Craft Shop
Available to buy
- Available from shop:
- Sketchbooks and sketching materials
Firing And Glazing Options:
1. Leave selected raw, finished pieces, which you wish to keep, for biscuit firing, basic clear glazing and re-firing by the College, for collection within six months.
2. 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.