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 offer paper crafting sessions.

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 onto one of our courses 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 a little time extra time in case things run over. Just phone or email or message us to book a timetable that suits you.
For both the wheel and hand building we offer twelve lessons that aim to get you ready to practice on your own. The twelve lessons are divided over three courses so it is fine to do Course One (three sessions) if you would like to try your hand without having to commit to booking all twelve lessons. Similarly you can stop after Course Two. The final session of every course is glazing so you will always end a course with finished ceramics and no obligation to book more lessons.


Courses. pinchpot monster

Hand-building courses

Beginners Course One (Handbuilding)
Learn the basics in three lessons! Lessons one and two will concentrate on the use of moulds, and making texture. If you haven't done our handbuilding taster we'll also make sure you learn to stick embellishments on using the score and slip method. You’ll also gain an understanding of clay shrinkage and the stages clay goes through while it dries. Lesson three takes place at least a fortnight after lesson two so that the clay has had time to dry and go into the kiln. This is because lesson three is an opportunity to glaze everything you have made, practice your brush-on glazing skills and be introduced to basic kiln management. It is fine to book this course as a stand-alone.

Beginners Course Two (Handbuilding)
These three lessons will build on what you did in Course One and you will learn to use leather-hard clay. When clay is at this stage it is stiff so you don't need to rely on moulds to hold the clay in shape. You will have the opportunity to construct with leather-hard clay and use templates to build interesting forms. The final lesson, as always, will take place at least a fortnight after lesson two so that you can glaze what you have made.

Six Week Course Intermediate level (Hand-building)
If you have enjoyed our beginners courses you may feel ready to book "studio time" to work on your own hand-building projects. However, if you don't feel quite ready you can book one or two more lessons, or book a six lesson course. Although a certain level of knowledge will be assumed at the intermediate level you will have the opportunity to revisit the skills learned on the beginners courses or to attempt new things. If you have a particular project in mind but don't feel confident to approach it without support, this course (which is always tailor-made by discussion) could be just what you need. Otherwise you could pick and choose from some of these topics...

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 finished.

Lettering on clay is complicated by the need to choose the right glaze which will highlight and not cover over your writing. There are several ways to create writing on clay, and a variety of ways to glaze it to advantage.

Kiln and Clay Management are not the most exciting part of a potter's life but if you are planning to take your ceramic hobby to the next level you might want to incorporate some studio management tutorials into your course!

Currently our hand-building courses are delivered one-to-one or to pairs. However hand-building classes also work well for a group - just get in touch as we are hoping to be back to booking for groups after Easter. 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 Courses

Once you’ve understood what you’re trying to do, throwing on the wheel is like learning to drive – you will need lots of practice - but unlike driving there’s no test and you can go it alone as soon as you feel ready! We have developed three wheel courses which aim to help you build up your skills. As soon as you feel ready to use the wheel on your own you can book studio time to give it a go!


Beginners Course One (Wheel)
This three lesson course will take you through the whole process of making a pot on the wheel from starting with a ball of clay and ending up (hopefully) with a fully glazed pot. In lesson one you will make a pot on the wheel. In lesson two you will "turn" that pot (finish it off) and we will give you the opportunity to explore a few decorative techniques that can be used on subsequent pots - you'll make some small decorative samples so that you can start to build up your own library of ideas for decorating your pots. Lesson three takes place at least two weeks after lesson two. This is because lesson three is an opportunity to glaze everything you have made, practice your brush-on glazing skills and be introduced to basic kiln management. It is fine to book this course as a stand-alone.

Beginners Course Two (Wheel)
Although Course One took you through the whole process, learning to use the wheel is difficult and as soon as you have completed Course One you will realise you need to do it all again! So Course Two is a repeat of Course One (different video introductions so you don't get bored) but the short tutorial about decorative techniques in lesson two will this time be an opportunity to learn how to add handles or embellishments to your pots. Lesson three takes place at least two weeks after lesson two. This is because lesson three is an opportunity to glaze everything you have made. We have so many different glazes that you will be able to try something completely new.

Six Week Course Intermediate level (Wheel)
The aim of this course is to prepare you to book "studio time" and throw pots independently. You will already have gone through the process twice during beginner course one and beginner course two so this course offers a third chance to practice with Anne's help but also incorporates some time alone on the wheel - we'll give you lots of support, and time to review how it went. At the end of the course we hope you will feel ready to go it alone but if you want to book more lessons that will be fine.
Lesson one - throw one or two pots with Anne's help
Lesson two - throw more pots with Anne
Lesson three - use the wheel unsupervised!
Lesson four - review last week's session and turn some pots with Anne's help
Lesson five - use the wheel unsupervised to turn the rest of your pots
Lesson six - glaze your pots (NB there has to be a gap of at least an extra week between lesson five and six to allow the clay to dry)

Booking options
It's better to discuss dates with us before you pay as we are quite busy. Phone, email or message us on facebook to discuss booking courses. 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. Alternatively 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

If you want to pay for a course in instalments (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.

The prices below are for one person.


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

Per person for pottery courses
* 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. We really like to make things work on an individual basis so please talk to us if you have requests or questions. You can book by card over the phone, use the buttons on this website, or pay with a card or cash when you come to the studio.

All our classes last an hour. However wheel lessons when attended by a pair last longer. Wheel lessons for two people take about 90 minutes because we need to leave time for both people to have a go on the wheel. It's interesting to watch each other so the time flies!


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


* Pay by PayPal by choosing from the options below and then clicking "add to cart". The price is per person, so just change the quantity of courses bought to 2 if you are paying for both of you.

Per person for pairs courses
* 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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