Dusty pottery apron header

How messy is a pottery class?

Hands deep in wet clay, with mud spattered mess, there’s no doubt that pottery is a mucky activity. Even though aprons are provided, you’ll be getting grubby, so you’ll want to dress for the mess for your first pottery class.

What should you wear to a pottery class?

  • Dress for the mess: Wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty (aprons provided).
    • No whites, they’re easier to stain with red clay, but easy to wash out of other colours.
    • Skirts can be a tricky on the wheel, so opt for trousers/shorts/leggings.
    • Remove jewellery and watches on your hands or wrists. Leave them in your bag or pockets so you don’t forget them.
    • Closed toe shoes that are easy to wipe are best.
    • Layer up in the winter, it’s a workshop not a restaurant, while the kilns often keep it warm, on the coldest days, it’s those layers that will keep you warm.
  • Short nails are recommended. Longer nails will dig into the clay while throwing on the wheel, which, while still possible to throw a good pot, it will give a less comfortable experience.
  • If you have long hair, you’ll want to tie it up for working on the wheel.
  • Last but not least, wear a smile, as you’ll enjoy yourself even more coming in with some positive energy.
Potter wearing a pottery apron
Handmade tessellating ceramic tiles, made in a mould making course at 7 Limes Pottery

Marlborough School Tile Project

James Donegan, took a beginner pottery course with us here in Manchester. An architect for Tim Groom Architects at the time, and now a fully qualified architect, with a RIBA and Mecanoo award to his name, and running the creative studio Dematerial.

After an exhibition at Manchester Craft and Design Centre creating an impressive structure inspired by mathematical designs in nature, James took a mould making and slip casting course with us. Following this he designed and 3D printed some tiles for a design project of Marlborough School in Macclesfield.

Involving the teachers and students “to design a space that is flexible, exciting and theirs.” As architects they unfortunately “had to reject suggestions that mashed potato, Lego and bubbles were suitable materials to build the school.” James made slip casting moulds for the tiles and had sample tiles produced at 7 Limes Pottery, using glaze designed by Sam Andrew. Their proposal won the Manchester Society of Architects award for un-built community project that year!

A project page for the school can be seen here.

At 7 Limes Pottery we’ve actually had a number of team building workshops with architect groups.A Architects we find are interested in materials, especially ceramics. So pottery is a great team building activity for architects. Do get in touch to talk to us about arranging a team building workshop or for helping to design and make ceramic samples for a specific architecture project.

Tessellating tiles made in a ceramics mould making course at 7 Limes PotteryHandmade tessellating ceramic tiles, made in a mould making course at 7 Limes Pottery