Tamra Booth, Keeeps
At Keeeps, we offer two different wheel throwing courses. A 6-week development course and a 2-week access course.
Our 6-week wheel throwing course is for those who have had at least a little experience on the potter’s wheel and have preferably completed a Keeeps Wheel Taster Class or the 2-week access course. It's designed to help you develop your wheel throwing skills learnt on a clay or wheel taster class, or on the 2-week course.
If you want to take the 6-week course, but you haven’t completed a Keeeps Wheel Taster or course, please get in contact with us as it may be that you can join anyway if you’ve had a previous go on the wheel and learnt how to ‘centre’ the clay.
It's designed for people who loved their initial wheel throwing experience and want to take the next step in their wheel throwing journey!
Our 2-week course is great for those who are completely new to wheel throwing or have tried it previously and want a refresh.
It's almost like an extended version of the wheel taster but you'll learn a few extra skills and get to finish your pieces to a higher standard by learning to turn (or trim), handle and glaze which you don't get to do on the Wheel Taster. You'll also get time to make more pieces than on the wheel throwing taster class.
Both of our wheel throwing courses are in groups of up to 6 people so you’ll have plenty of time with the tutor and it will still be a relaxing experience as well as good fun.
What is a Wheel Throwing Course?
6-week wheel throwing course
Our 6-week wheel throwing course is made up of six 2-hour classes and includes tuition, materials, firing costs and refreshments. For more information on dates, times and prices, click here.
2-week wheel throwing course
Our 2-week wheel throwing course is made up of two 3-hour classes and includes tuition, materials, firing costs and refreshments. For more information on dates, times and prices, click here!
What will I learn?
Both wheel throwing courses are designed to teach you a higher level of throwing techniques, from clay preparation to more advanced throwing with slightly larger vessels to finishing and glazing.
The 2-week course is the next step up from a wheel taster. It's designed to give you a bit more of a go on the wheel than you get in the wheel taster. It's perfect for beginners with their hearts set on mastering the wheel.
We've called it the Access Course because it's a great first step before heading on to master the wheel in the 6-week course.
The 6-week course allows you to hone those skills and become more accomplished.
On both courses, you will learn how to centre the clay on the wheel. This means learning how to slap the ball of clay on the wheel and exert enough pressure through your hands so it ‘centres’, to ensure that it doesn’t fly off or become a wobbly mess mid-throw!
You will then learn how to use your fingers and hands to push in and ‘pull-up’ the walls of the clay to make bigger forms than you do on the Wheel Taster and gain confidence in manipulating the spinning clay in your hands.
Once your pieces have had time to dry, you will learn how to turn (or trim) your piece. This means placing it upside down on the wheel to finish the base or footing to tidy it up and finish it to perfection. Finally, you will then learn how to glaze your pieces, using our set of colourful house glazes.
In the 6-week course, you will have more sessions on the wheel to practice your throwing. In the 2-week course you will only have one session to make your pieces on the wheel before moving onto trimming, finishing and glazing in week two.
What is the difference between the 2-week and 6-week wheel throwing course?
The difference between our two courses is that the 6-week course provides more time to practice on the wheel.
Our 2-week wheel throwing course is for beginners and designed as a thorough introduction to the wheel. As there are fewer sessions, you will not make as many pieces, but you will learn similar skills, you will just not have as much time to perfect them as you do on the 6-week course.
The 2-week course is a great option for those who are intrigued by wheel throwing and want to practice all stages of the process.
What will I make?
6-week wheel throwing course
On our 6-week wheel throwing course, you will make a breakfast set! This will include a cup, saucer, side plate, sugar pot and butter dish. However, it’s flexible and if you enjoyed making a particular object, you could make two of the same.
You’ll then turn, finish and glaze the pieces you make on the wheel which we will fire for you in the kiln.
2-week wheel throwing course
On our 2-week throwing course, you will make 2-3 pieces. We can help guide you what to make, but this will usually be a cup and saucer, so you get to practice making two different shaped and sized pieces.
However, what you make will depend on how comfortable you are on the wheel and how you take to pulling up the clay, which is the most difficult part of wheel throwing!
Like the 6-week course, you will turn, finish and glaze the pieces you make, and we will fire these for you. Your pieces will be available for collection around 4-6 weeks from the date of your last class.
What should I bring?
Just bring yourself and a positive attitude ready to get potting! A couple of things of other things we recommend bringing and/or doing beforehand are:
- Water bottle – potting is thirsty work!
- Mask (optional)
- Clothes that you don’t mind getting dusty and dirty – making pottery can get messy!
- Flat shoes/trainers, no open toe shoes
- You will need to remove your rings so you may wish to leave these at home (or risk them getting caked in clay!)
- Hair tied back
- Sensible length nails (long nails make it more difficult!)
- Something to make fun or pretty textures in the clay (totally optional as you will be given plenty of tools to use!)
I LOVED my wheel throwing course... what is the next step?
If you’ve loved your wheel course and are eager to keep up your skills, we would recommend joining the Keeeps Club or taking an Improver Class to further hone your skills!
One option is to join the Keeeps Club! You will have the option of a bronze, silver, gold or platinum membership option. Each membership will include a minimum and maximum number of sessions that you can book and attend each month, depending on which membership you opt for.
The sessions are three hours each and are in an open studio format. They aren’t structured classes, but depending on your ability and membership plan, you will have access to a pottery technician and potentially a tutor who can provide guidance and help.
It’s a great opportunity to visit the pottery studio and really hone your skills in a free and relaxed environment. You’ll also benefit from other perks, including free attendance at Keeeps Talks and a set number of free guest passes each year.
More details on The Keeeps Club will be announced very shortly. Keep your eyes on our social media channels and sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know when these are announced!
Improver Classes & Courses
If you want to keep up the good work after your wheel throwing course, then you’ll be ready for an Improver Class or Course!
At the Keeeps Improver Classes & Courses, a guest expert potter will teach you a specific skill, which will provide the opportunity to further your throwing and/or hand building skills under the guidance of an experienced ceramicist.
If you loved your 2-week course, you may also benefit from attending the 6-week course to really hone and further practice the skills learnt in the intensive course with the guidance of a tutor and in a class format.
We hope this blog helps you understand what the wheel throwing courses are all about, what you’ll learn, and which pottery experience you should take next, once you’ve completed your wheel throwing course and are on your way to becoming a pro!
If you have any other questions, feel free to pop them in the comments below, give us a call on 01628 397000 or an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re so excited to watch you grow and develop on your pottery journey!