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Introduction To Pottery Course

Our Introduction to Pottery Courses will take you from complete pottery novice through to developing a professionally presented body of work.

Level One – Make – 5 Weeks

Level Two – Decorate – 5 Weeks

Level Three – Consolidate – 10 Weeks

 

Introduction to Pottery Intensive Courses

The best way to start your pottery journey is with highly focussed courses that will show you all the basic making and decorating techniques and introduce you to some amazing clay possibilities.

We begin with Level One – Make, 5 Week course.

Flatware, pinch pots, slip casting, coil building and basic slab building – the basics of all hand built ceramic techniques! You will also be introduced to using underglazes and the basics of glazing.

In Level Two – Decorate – we develop those basic skills further and introduce even more possibilities – more advanced glazing information, using colour in the clay body, more advanced hand building projects, designing and planning your work, intro to sculpting, the use of washi transfer paper, multiple firings and other decorating techniques.

Then, In Level Three – Consolidate, we guide you through the process of developing a professional body of work in the direction that interests you the most!

Now you are ready to come to Open Studio Class where you can work at your own pace in the direction that really matters to you! 

Our aim is to create competent potter’s who have a passion for what they do. From delicate jewellery through to large exhibition pieces, and everything in between! Whatever you love to make in clay, we want you to be working at a very high standard. That pushes us to continue to improve our course offerings and the focus of what and how we teach! Our students are awesome!

Introduction to Pottery – Level One

Level One – Make

In this stage we focus on learning basic making skills – “what” we make is not that relevant, however, students make amazing work they are really proud of! These making skills touch on all the main ways to make pottery items by hand. 

This course is $350 fully inclusive of all materials, hoever if you purchase Level One and Level Two (10 weeks) together it is $650 (you save $100)

 

Week One

  • About clay
  • Rolling clay by hand
  • Creating & using textures
  • Various flatware plates and bowls

Week Two

  • Obtaining a professional finish
  • Pinch pots – tea set with teapots, tray/saucer, cups and spoons 
  • The clay workflow

Week Three

  • Cups
  • Design a simple template
  • Introduction to slip casting
  • Soft clay slab building

Week Four

  • Slab building
  • Coil building
  • Mixing techniques
  • Underglazes

Week Five

  • Introduction to Glazing
  • Glazing Rules
  • Glazing Techniques
  • Intro to Porcelain

 

Introduction to Pottery – Level Two

Level Two – Decorate

Now we extend your building skills into more adventurous projects. You get a design brief and its up to you how you execute the brief – we show you many new decorating techniques and encourage you to incorporate these new skills into your designs. We are SO amazed by the work our students achieve in such a short period of time!

This 5 week course is $400 fully inclusive of all materials, however if you purchase Level One and Level Two together you save $100 – $650 for 10 weeks!

 

Week One

  • Intro to Glaze Technology
  • Build a plater and a tall items for sgraffito.
  • Using coloured slip ready for sgraffito
  • Homework – design sgraffito pattern

Week Two

  • Sgraffito – tools and executions of design
  • Coloured clay body theory
  • Make coloured clay
  • Make nerikome and a small piece
  • Homework – design a multi piece set – tea set, sake set, punch bowl set, etc – to use advanced slabs, pinch pots and coils

Week Three

  • Execute the build of your designed set. 
  • Plan the decoration and glazing of the set
  • Homework – design a complex slab built piece

Week Four

  • Execute the complex slab build
  • Build in a mould for piercing and carving – plus pinch pot for piercing and carving

Week five 

  • Finish and glaze all work that is ready
  • Introduction to sculptural work.

Introduction to Pottery – Level Three – 10 Weeks

Level Three – Consolidate

In Level One and Two you made course work. Now it is time for you to develop your own work! Don’t worry, we guide you every step of the way. 

We begin this journey with you collecting a theme of work on Pinterest that you enjoy, would like to make, or really resonate with. Then, you will make a mood board of your favourites, developing a theme, colour tone, texture, method, finish and use (dinner, art, sculpture…). finally you set about making and refining your work.

This course is $500 for the 10 Week Course – people will be making a variety of work, so we can’t fairly include materials across the board. You will pay for your materials at the discount rate of $5/kg for the finished work (just like Open Studio – where you pay $10/kg). If you want additional material not supplied in the studio (washi, screen prints, certain colours or glazes, tools) you will need to source them yourself as well! 

First

  • Search Pinterest, Etsy, Google, YouTube
  • For ceramics you like
  • Gather images and techniques into a folder
  • Create a mood board

Then

  • Research materials, colours, glazes, techniques, ideas
  • To fulfil the look and feel of your mood board
  • Begin designing your work
  • Consider making moulds, textures, screen prints….

Create

  • Now we begin to create your range
  • This work will be a beautiful collection around the look and feel of your mood board
  • You will photograph it professionally with staging and lighting!
  • The mood board, your research folder, your photographs and your work is a professional level representation of your creativity!

Well done! You have probably learned more in 20 weeks than many have done over years of pottery self development and other classes. You are well and truly ready to go into Open Studio classes where you can follow your passion and interests. Firebird Studios teachers will help you to continue your study and development every step of the way!

Please indicate your interest for the “Introduction to Pottery” classes using the form.

We run Introduction to Pottery Intensive courses each semester in alignment with QLD school terms. The days and times for each course changes each term. so if the day and time don’t suit this time, they might the next time! 

To book directly, please go to the “Schedule” page and find the next course that suits you!

Made by Students

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Are Classes?

Introduction to Pottery Intensive Courses

Level One – Make – 5 Weeks – $350 fully inclusive of all materials

Level Two – Decorate – 5 Weeks – $400 fully inclusive of all materials

Purchase Level One and Level Two together – 10 Weeks – $650 (save $100) fully inclusive of all materials

Level Three – Consolidate – 10 Weeks – $500 PLUS pay for materials at 50% Open Studios rates – $5/kg of finished work – you will also need to purchase any special decorating materials that we don’t stock

When Are Classes Held?

Introduction to Pottery Intensive Courses

Course days and times vary with each term – if your preferred day and time is not available this term it might be next term.

Generally speaking courses are held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings, 9:30 – 12:30, some Saturday mornings 9 – 12, and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings 6 – 9 pm.

 

Where Are Classes Held?

Classes are held at Unit 4 / 6 Ramly Drive, Burleigh Heads.

The studio is the rear left unit, entry is via the little pergola and garden! There are 8 car parks available, plus on street parking.

 

Do I have to do all the courses?

It is preferred that you begin at Level One! You may, however, join Level Two or Level Three if you have previous pottery experience – please indicate this if you are enquiring using the contact form. Joining at a level other than the beginning will be at the teacher’s discretion, so please enquire before you book.

What Is Included - What Do I Need To Bring?

Introduction to Pottery Courses at Level One and Level Two includes all materials that you need. Additionally your fees include various levels of tools that you can keep. 

Clay, colourings, glazes, underglazes, decals, firings and printed materials are all provided and included.

At Level Three, each student is creating entirely different work, some might be big and some tiny – for fairness, materials are paid for at $5/kg finished work to cover basic clay, glaze and firing costs. If you want to develop screen prints, use washi papers, or use a particular commercial glaze you will also need to purchase them yourself!

 

Bringing an apron and your own hand towel is a great idea, water, tea & coffee are available at the studio.

 

How Can I Enrol?

Introduction to Pottery courses can be enrolled in directly on the Schedule page – just scroll through the months to find the course you want to enrol in. Please be advised that there are limited spaces available in these course – usually around 8 people – so make sure you book early!

How Can I Pay?

You can pay for the Introduction to Pottery course online by card (Square) or PayPal (card or your PayPal account). If you prefer you can also pay in person by cash or card when you start – please use one of the forms on this page to book your place!

What Will I Be Making?

In the Introduction to Pottery Level One course you will be making a set curriculum, however, you are free to extend the basics with your own imagination and art!

In the Introduction to Pottery Level Two course you will be set a design brief and are required to research your ideas and come prepared with images or sketches of how you want to execute your designs. Clay weight and item will be determined by the project parameters.

In the Introduction to Pottery Level Three course you will develop your own body of work in a professionally presented manner!

 

From Our Students

I have learnt more in three lessons from Lynda than I learnt in three years at another class! I call her “Pearl” – always got a pearl of wisdom to make my work better!

-L.C.

As a professional artist looking to expand into clay, I respect the skills and knowledge I am finding at Firebird Studios.

-R.H.

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Address

4/6 Ramly Drive
Burleigh Heads
QLD, 4220