Hands on with Clay

Ref: C2342331

For attendees of Thistles Market Garden to explore and enjoy the medium of clay for use in creating garden related objects. Using a step by step approach you will learn how to use your hands and tools to shape and build with clay. Follow the different stages which clay goes through for making a finished object, including drying, decorating, kiln firing and colour glazing.

Course aim

Introducing the use of clay with hand-building techniques. To develop individuals creativity using clay, design and colour. Make use of Thistles Market Garden for related ceramic projects.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is for students who attend a specific centre only. For more information please call 0300 303 3464
  • You will need to be able to follow verbal instructions and practical demonstrations.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Use my hands and senses for the safe use of different tools and materials, including crank clay; red terracotta clay, slips and glazes.
  • Prepare and recognise the various conditions and quantities of clay needed for hand-building techniques, including slip, soft clay, leather hard and dry clay.
  • Control the use of clay with at least one hand-building technique, such as pinching, coiling and slab building.
  • Make use of tools and materials for creative design and decoration, including texture and colour.
  • Demonstrate understanding of basic words relating to the ceramic processes, tools and materials used, and health and safety procedures involved in the sessions.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • Practical demonstrations. Learning through experience - being 'Hands-on with Clay' tools and materials. Repeated practice of skills.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • There will be a number of tasks appropriate to your course such as written work, creating art or craft, video, photography or small projects. Some of these may be marked to help you progress
  • Giving and receiving feedback from Students and Tutor, & other staff. Written observational records of Students progress & photos.

What else do I need to know?

  • Protective overall On site requirement of protective footwear

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Pre course information needs to be given out to potential students before enrolment

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Continuation of learning with the use of clay for developing hand-building skills.

Download full course information sheet

Hands on with Clay


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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