The Milndavie Pottery Strathblane, Scotland

Courses. viewfrom pottery

About our courses

This amazing view from the pottery gave us a real head start in creating a place where our customers can relax, play, and learn! As well as our love for ceramics Lydia has interests associated to her work as a psychotherapist and sometimes offers short courses where she can share some of that knowledge. We also run a fortnightly paper crafting session.

We hope that what we offer at the pottery will cater for all - from one-off taster sessions or painting on ready-made items - right through to the option of becoming one of our Associates and using the studio regularly for private projects. And we also take bookings for one to one lessons (both handbuilding and on the wheel), group events, independent projects and to use our wheels!

We don't want to be prescriptive about what you can do at the pottery as the best creativity comes when you follow your heart - so we hope the information below will spark off ideas to discuss with us.

Click here for our courses leaflet.

Just phone, email or facebook message to discuss and/or book. Sessions are available after 11am, and at evenings and weekends.

Pottery Courses

Maybe you really enjoyed your taster session, or maybe you just know you want more! Booking a series of classes will allow you to learn the basics and develop your projects over time. We can offer evening and weekend sessions as well as daytime after 11am. Each class lasts one hour but please allow 90mins in case things run over. Just phone or email or message us to book a timetable that suits you.
Every programme is tailor-made depending on the amount of sessions planned and your particular interests, but here are some suggestions if you are not sure what to do:

Courses. pinchpot monster

Hand-building classes

Learn the basics. Make some dishes and saucers and learn to stick embellishments on using the score and slip method. You’ll also gain an understanding of clay shrinkage, the stages clay goes through while it dries, and basic kiln management.

Pinch pots can be decorated with all sorts of texture techniques and look lovely when they are glazed. Turn a pinchpot over and add wings or ears and you can make dragons and monsters! Keep your pot up the right way and give it a nose and some eyes – funny and functional!

Courses. small wiggle

Coil pots take a bit of time to complete - in order to stop the coils separating in the kiln - but they are worth the effort as they look so beautiful when complete.

Slab work using templates takes more than a single session because the clay needs to dry and become “leather hard” before being formed into shape. Possibilities are almost infinite.

Glazing is a crucial part of the whole process and it takes a bit of time to choose your colours. Our videos help but there’s nothing to compare with being in the studio and handling the samples while you decide what combinations to try.

A series of handbuilding classes works well for a group - we'd recommend four or six sessions to start with. In addition you are welcome to bring someone to watch your hand-building or wheel lesson. If they want to wander off we have a comfortable sitting room where we offer free tea and coffee to customers (with chocolate and crisps for sale). The wheel room is small so only one observer will fit in alongside you and Anne!

Courses. earlypots

Wheel Throwing Classes

Once you’ve understood what you’re trying to do, throwing on the wheel is like learning to drive – you will need some supervised practice between lessons. Unlike driving there’s no test and you can go it alone as soon as you choose! We have developed four main wheel lessons but they need to be intersected with practice sessions where we will be present and helping but not teaching you new things. As soon as you feel ready to go it alone you can book to use the wheel on your own (see studio sessions).

We want to support you to learn in the way that suits you – some people book loads of lessons with Anne while other people prefer to be left alone as soon as possible to learn on their own. We really want you to choose a programme that suits you but if you’ve never used a wheel before we’d recommend booking six lessons (or at least four). Our lessons cover these topics:

Learning to throw a pot on the wheel
Lesson includes short DVD examples of
• Sticking the clay to the batt
• Centring and Coning
• Pulling up the sides to make a bowl
Although we need to teach/show you some of the basics, more than half of the time will be spent on the wheel in this introductory session.

Getting more confident with throwing
Review learning from lesson one
Watch another DVD example and then plenty of time to practice. You will also learn how to take your pot off the wheel.

After you’ve completed these two lessons we recommend one or two practice sessions before you move on.

“Turning” your pots
This lesson includes short DVD examples of
• Preparing to turn
• Trimming/turning your pot
The lesson includes information about stages of clay and a chance to practice on the pots you made in previous lessons.

Starting and Finishing
This is your opportunity to glaze the pots you have thrown and turned in previous sessions. You will learn the basics of glazing and kiln management.
We will also give pointers about how to prepare clay for the wheel

Booking options
Phone, email or message us on facebook to book classes. We are able to arrange sessions on weekdays after 11am, in the evening and at weekends. The buttons below are to pay (for one or two people) for our most popular course lengths. All other course lengths are availble - from three sessions to twelve and beyond - just discuss your plans when you book and you can pay over the phone by card, or with cash or card when you come to the studio. Classes can take place weekly, fortnightly, or at a pace that suits you (if it fits into our diary!). Pay for a group on our Parties and Groups Page.

Pay for classes when you come to the Studio or pay in advance by Card or PayPal

The more sessions you book the cheaper it works out per session. If you want to take advantage of these discounts but prefer to pay in installments (eg for each class on the day) that's fine - your commitment to a series of classes and promise to attend and pay as agreed is all that is needed for you to be entitled to the discount.

The prices below are for one person.

* Pay by PayPal by choosing from the options below and then clicking "add to cart".

Number of Classes
* Or to pay by card, choose the appropriate button below and it will take you to the payment page.

Courses. class prep table

Most people choose to come for weekly lessons, but courses can take place on a fortnightly, or even monthly, basis if you prefer. You can book by card over the phone, or pay with a card or cash when you come to the studio.

We will devise a programme that is tailor-made to your needs. There's so much to learn, you might prefer to plan a longer course. Here are some examples:

Seven sessions: £112 (£98 concessions) per person
Eight sessions: £128 (£112 concessions) per person
Nine sessions: £135 (£117 concessions) per person
Twelve sessions £180 (£156 concessions) per person

The prices below are per person if two people are coming to hand-building classes together.

* Pay by PayPal by choosing from the options below and then clicking "add to cart".

Number of Classes
* Or to pay by card, choose the appropriate button below and it will take you to the payment page.

Have a look at our Parties and Groups Page to book courses for three or more people.

Throwing Course Case Study: Hannah Bryce

One of our customers, Hannah, came for a six week wheel throwing course and gifted us with a case study to show what she did! Hannah was unusual in that she came for lessons because she wanted to learn to make pots to sell for her business (MeadowMade). During the course she bought her own wheel which speeded up her progress but Hannah started her pottery-throwing journey knowing nothing about ceramics and, as with many of our customers, we have loved seeing her skills develop. This picture is of the pots that Hannah made during her wheel lessons but click on the picture and you will be transported to her website so you can see what she is making now. Well done Hannah!

Courses. Hannah Pots

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