Regular schools have been held at Brookhouse Pottery since 1980. The professional workshops are fully equipped and spacious and can accommodate students with ease. The schools ore held for two weeks and are limited to eight students. David tutors the course each day with Margaret joining between managing the general running of the workshop.
During the first week the course focuses on all aspects of making. Thrown forms predominate combined with slabbed work and pressed flatware. Each student has a power wheel and David's skills as a thrower are soon evident in enabling the learner to progress. The excellent clay body, which is made at the workshop proves its worth and students rapidly extend their abilities to gain an 'in depth' adventure into creative throwing and turning. For larger forms the throw and coil technique is used.
Attention is paid to surface pattern. Personal to David is his approach to faceted, impressed and beaten forms and the relationship of the surfaces with the interplay of slip and hakeme decoration. Margaret concentrates on individual porcelain forms and uses carved decorations, ashed surfaces, poured glazes and freely scribed brushwork in various combinations. Students are encouraged to develop their own ideas to find their personal strengths using a combination of traditional techniques with innovative approaches.
During the intervening weekend bisque firings take place so that the second week concentrates on glazing. decorating and reduction firing. The techniques used are wax resist. overglazing. glaze trailing and brush decoration combined with ashed and wood fired surfaces. The glazes in use are celadon, kaki, tenmoku, shino and other iron beoring glazes. There are several gas kilns and a wood kiln and the students can be involved in the kiln packing and firing. Emphasis wherever possible is given to the basic understanding of raw materials. the use of workshop equipment. glaze technology and kiln technology. Discussion groups take place and influences and personal ideas are assessed.
Once the kilns are firing students can make use of the tool shop. David is a wonderful toolmaker and is happy to help students make some of the tools, ribs and dies, which they have used. Students will work in a beautiful riverside setting with a relaxed yet industrious fervour. In all, a total approach to encompass the potter's art.
The school begins each Monday morning and ends Friday at 5pm. Tuition hours ore from 9am until 5pm daily. A splendid four-course lunch is prepared each day at the Brookhouse Mill Restaurant down the lane with tea, coffee and biscuits mid morning and afternoon in the workshop . The intervening weekend gives students a welcome break and the opportunity to explore the welsh countryside. We will endeavour to glaze fire twelve medium sized pieces of work for each person. Students may take away the remainder to fire at home. Students are asked to bring working overalls or apron. hand towel and note pad.. There is a good selection of tools available in the workshop.
Cameras are welcome in the workshop but please no video cameras. Holiday insurance is strongly recommended as course fees are only refundable up to eight weeks prior to school commencement. Often the last glaze kiln may not be drawn until Saturday morning of the second week so you may wish to extend your stay until this time to enjoy the excitement of the final kiln opening.