This course will introduce beginner and intermediate learners to comprehensive hand building techniques and an opportunity to use the potters wheel. You will work in different clay body types and learn about kiln firing processes. You will also learn the techniques of applying coloured slip and glaze as a means of surface decoration. More experienced learners will be able to work on their own projects.
No previous knowledge is required. Firing of clay is based on weight when bone dry and paid for using a token system available through the library. You will need to buy and build your own tool set. We can sell you a basic set at cost price or your tutor can recommend alternatives. Firing and glazing of work is included in the fee. Please note that we are not able to fire work that is not made in college. You are not allowed to bring in work from home or elsewhere, even if the clay originated in college. You cannot bring in your own clay to use and must use the clays we provide. Learners on Intermediate/ Advanced classes can buy and use provided Specialist clays eg. black clay, porcelain. These must be bought in advance and students must manage their own reclaim. All glazes are provided and all learners may bring in CONTEM underglazes if they want additional colours. Please check with your tutor if you are not sure. You are only able to bring in your own glazes if you are on a Intermediate/ Advanced course, and these need to first be vetted by your tutor for toxicity and compatibility with our firing temperatures and then the correct test pieces done before use. Please bring your own apron or dress appropriately. If you are interested in a specialist technique not listed or described in the course description, please contact the Curriculum manager before enrolling, to find out if it is possible for us to accommodate this.
You will learn a basic range of hand building techniques e.g. coiling, slab-building, press-moulding. Practice and develop fundamental throwing and turning techniques. Explore surface decoration techniques such as slip and glaze application. Demonstrate awareness of Health and Safety issues in ceramics through safe studio practice, with consideration towards other students and staff.
Teaching and Learning Methods
The programme is taught through tutor demonstrations, technical hand-outs, sharing skills and knowledge within the group, through class discussions and most importantly through developing your own practice. You will be supported in realising your personal goals and projects through one to one tutorials and technical assistance from the tutor. You will work at your own pace and be given feedback on your progress. At the end of the course the tutor will assess your progress and advise you on the next step. If you have additional learning support needs, you will be signposted to support. Resources used within each lesson will be available electronically. There is no formal homework; however, your tutor may discuss ideas with you individually to help extend your study and for ongoing independent projects and research. Your tutor will also recommend exhibitions, videos or websites for you to visit to enrich your study.
There is no exam or formal assessment for this course. However, you will work with your tutor to identify your aims at the beginning of the session and will receive one to one feedback throughout as well as sharing outcomes at the end of the course. There is no formal qualification attached to this course but you can receive a Certificate of Completion from the college on request.
Next Steps and Progression
Once you have completed the course you may choose to enrol on a further term in this subject or another subject in the Creative Arts department or join an accredited L1 or L2 Ceramics course. For Art and Design courses, once you have developed a portfolio of work you could consider applying to the Foundation Diploma in Art and design as a Pathway in to Higher Education. Studio courses are for those learners with some subject knowledge or who have been studying the same subject at the college for 3 full years. Advice and Guidance for all further study is available from the Curriculum Manager by request.
For more information, please contact the Learner Services Team via Live Chat or on 020 7255 4700 or email LearnerServices@wmcollege.ac.uk.
Additional Learning Support
Teachers are supported to ensure their materials are inclusive to meet all learners needs. Provision of assistive equipment is available and access support can be provided through reasonable adjustments, subject to an assessment by the ALS team and/or the Disability Officer. Digital Learning support is available in the Learning Centre at our Camden site. Careers advice and guidance is also available to all learners.
WM College is able to provide financial support with course fees and you may be eligible based on prior qualifications, if you are on a low income or on benefits. For more information and to find out if you are eligible, go to the Fees & Finance page on our website or contact the Learner Services team via Live Chat or on 020 7255 4700.