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Sculptural Pottery with Alan Braidford

Saturday, September 30

Learn construction techniques such as coiling & slab-building and explore the importance of texture as an enhancement to sculptural form.

This course will provide you with an understanding of basic construction techniques such as coiling and slab-building. You will explore the importance of texture both as a starting point and as an enhancement to sculptural form.

The notion of memory as a fundamental consequence within making, either by intent or as bi-product, will be discussed with reference to historical artefacts and contemporary art. You will also learn how to operate safely within the workshop.

By the end of the course, you will develop the skills and confidence to plan and execute projects of your own.

Week 1

Introduction to the workshop. Basic health and safety. Cleaning up routines etc. Slab-building. Rolling clay by hand and by mechanical roller. Use of slip and joining techniques. Make a free-form sculpture as a test piece.

Week 2

Discuss the bisqued results of the previous week. Apply oxides or clear/white glaze as test exploration. Make more considered slab-built sculpture; figurative elements, texture experimentation; sgraffito, found objects, patterns etc.

Week 3

Discuss products from last firing. Develop work in progress. Introduce coiling. Make free-form coiled piece (could be an animal form or abstract). Discuss notion of utility, cultural artefacts from history such as grave ware etc. How would you represent contemporary culture as a ceramic artefact? Reference contemporary art practice. Start planning final piece.

Week 4

Start construction of personal project. Suggestions such as a personal shrine, a funeral urn, an important memory or belief could all be starting points. Reference ancient Egyptian or Cypriot ceramic objects; dolls, houses, ceremonies etc. Introduce idea of mixing materials e.g. ceramic forms held together with wire and string. Show examples.

Week 5

Discuss ongoing projects. Make changes where necessary, support and give advice but otherwise allow students time to complete construction of personal project. Emphasise strong joining technique to avoid disappointment. Take photos of work and leave to be bisqued.


Week 1: Saturday, 30th September, 10am – 1.00pm

Week 2: Saturday, 7th October, 10am – 1.00pm

Week 3: Saturday, 14th October, 10am – 1.00pm

Week 4: Saturday, 4th November, 10am – 1.00pm

Week 5: Saturday, 11th November, 10am – 1.00pm

Cost: £200 (all materials included)

Get tickets here.

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