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New to ceramics or want to get back into it and prefer the structure and commitment of a course? 

Given its reliance on specialist knowledge and equipment, ceramic practice can feel daunting. Ceramic artist and founder of Dalston Clay, Barnaby Hosking has formulated this course to simplify ceramics process and make it feel natural and joyful: a regular part of your daily life much like exercise or relaxation. This course is most suitable for beginners but can also be used as a refresher or for further learning after previous beginners courses or prior experience with ceramics. This is a general ceramics course, so you will learn the basics of hand building and wheel throwing. However if you wish to focus on one or the other from the beginning, you are free to do so. 

Benefits of a course at Dalston Clay

  • Affordable and excellent value.

  • Learn handbuilding (pinch, coil, slab building) and wheelthrowing techniques.

  • Pre-session meditation to spark your flow.

  • Tools, aprons, and pottery painting and glazing options are all provided.

  • Unlimited clay to use during sessions, plus 5 fired + glazed works included.

  • Small, intimate groups of up to 10 students means you get lots of personal attention!

  • Climate-controlled and cosy studio with lots of natural light.

  • Convenient and vibrant East London location close to Dalston overground.

  • Free tea, great playlists and relaxed, friendly, community vibe.

BONUS! On your first session you will receive a 50% discount on a Clay Day on a Saturday of your choice. Clay Day is the ultimate creative wellbeing experience, combining pottery with yoga and meditation. Click here for more info.

Course description

Rather than bombard you with technical details, you will get your hands into some clay at the beginning of the first session, so that priority is given to learning through direct experience. We encourage you to come a little before 6.30pm to allow time to settle down for meditation: A 20 min guided meditation led by Barnaby to  help relax the mind and body so that we are more open to the creative process: As Barnaby describes "relieving the tension from the attention". It is non-religious, will last for approximately twenty mins and include a poem towards the end read by either Barnaby or a member of the group.


Included in the price of this course is the glazing and firing of up to five pieces. You are welcome to make more but any further pieces will cost between £5 to £15 to glaze and fire depending on size, payable by contactless. All clay, Glazes, tools, equipment and aprons are provided and included. 

Course schedule

Session one

  • Meditation

  • Studio introduction inc. health and safety 

  • Types of clay and their uses. Tools and equipment overview.

  • Clay wedging (removing air pockets prior to use).

  • Handbuilding techniques; pinch, coil, slab.

  • Making a simple Japanese tea bowl or similar vessel using slab building techniques.

Session two

  • Meditation.

  • Continuation of hand building from session one

  • Introduction to the wheel. Centering the clay and throwing a simple vessel. 

Session three

  • Meditation.

  • Continuation of Hand building and wheel throwing

  • Intro to surface decoration: carving, coloured slip techniques and more

Session Four

  • Meditation

  • Continuation of hand building and wheel throwing

  • Demonstration of turning on the wheel 

Session five

  • Meditation.

  • Glazing of work fired so far

  • Turning practice

  • Continuation of hand building and wheel throwing

  • Discussion about continued practice. 

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As a CIC and Social Enterprise, it is our intention is to make Dalston Clay a studio that is available to everyone, regardless of financial circumstance. While we need to function as a business, we never want money to be the reason why someone can't benefit from what we've built. If you truly can't afford the full cost of our offerings, we invite you to contact us to discuss your situation and we will endeavour to sort something out.

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