Slip decorated dishes with Jo Taylor

Ref: SWE29700

Location: West Dean
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About this course

Explore different ways to create open bowl forms, then decorate your works using a range of slip techniques.

Course Description

This course is ideal for beginners, or for anyone wishing to explore slip decorating in more depth.

The experienced tutor will demonstrate making techniques focusing on handbuilding and using a range of plaster moulds available in the pottery. You will have the option to use the potter’s wheel if required, working to your goals. The making process will cover design decisions and quality of finish.

You will be able to experiment with several techniques using coloured slips to decorate your work. It will be fired and clear glazed for you by the pottery technician to collect after the course.

The aim to is learn new skills or progress existing skills, and complete a small group of functional or decorative works for domestic use, with expert guidance. Also, it is hoped you will enjoy the process, atmosphere and learning how to work with clay in this accessible way.

During the first session, the tutor will introduce the course to the group and inspire you with a presentation. The first day will focus on design and construction, leading to decorating later in the day. The second day will focus on completing all pieces before finishing at 3pm.


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 College will supply all of the materials including clay, slips, glaze, tools, moulds.
  • 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

  • Two aprons
  • Optional: bring some inspirational images for your decoration – there is plenty to inspire at West Dean too.
  • Any stiff or Chinese brushes for painting you may have (mark with your name)

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 (no sandals or open toes).


Jo Taylor portrait

Jo Taylor

Jo studied at Bath Spa University gaining Ceramics BA, MA & teacher training qualifications. An experienced tutor, Jo regularly teaches from beginners to MA students. A member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, her work is exhibited internationally in shows such as COLLECT at the Saatchi gallery.


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

Courses of interest

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.