The original Wild Pottery course
4 courses scheduled for 2018:
April 7/8, June 1/2, Aug 17/18, Oct 26/27
10.30am – 4.30pm each day
Book now for the October course (please note this course runs on Friday/Saturday)
2019 dates will be confirmed soon, and you can hear about them via my newsletter or by checking the website again.
Venue: we’ll be based in 70 acres of ancient coppiced woodland, on a family-run working farm. A peaceful and beautiful setting. Dernwood Farm Waldron, Nr Heathfield, Sussex, TN21 0PN
On this 2-day course you’ll be in the woods making hand built pottery using clay that we’ll dig from the land on the day. This course provides a thorough understanding of what’s involved in making wild pottery, and gives you a hands-on appreciation of the origins of this craft. The tools, equipment and technology we’ll be using are, as far as is known, the same as those used since Neolithic times, when pottery began, and well into the Bronze age.
In October, we’ll be making the most of the last of British Summer time. A cosy campfire, kettle on the fire and the usual homemade flapjacks will keep us warm and well-fueled. Plus a huge tarp will be on hand just in case, for cover.
The first day is all about earth and water: learn how to find and select clay in the landscape, how to collect it and make it usable. You’ll make an item or two and technical assistance will be on hand from Ruby to help you. You’ll also learn how to make your pot strong enough to survive the firing.
The second day is all about fire and wood: you’ll learn how to fire your pots successfully in an open fire. It’s an exciting process to take part in and really magical to witness clay being transformed by fire. In the afternoon there’ll be an introduction to fire-making without matches (using ancient percussive methods) while we keep an eye on our pots and wait for them to cool enough so they can be taken home at the end of the day. You never know exactly how your pots will turn out so it’s always a thrill.
We’ll also have time set aside for connecting to the woodland surroundings, making the weekend a nourishing as well as a learning experience. Suitable for all levels including beginners. Places limited to a maximum of 12 people to ensure individual attention.
Really, really enjoyed those two days – we all felt very refreshed and inspired.
I have my little pot on my desk to remind me of the wonderful experience.” Simon M, Brighton
Accommodation: camping is available at the farm venue and full details about this will be sent to you when you book on the course. The farm also has glamping options- cosy bell tents and cabins with wood-burners.
Please note that the cost of staying at the farm isn’t included in the cost of the course.