Wild Pottery – Level 1

Wild Pottery courses

The original Wild Pottery course

Two days: April 16/17, June 11/12, July 16/17, Sept 18/19

10.30am – 5pm


Wild Pottery is also available as a bite-sized course for families

Venue: 70 acre ancient coppiced woodland on a family-run working  farm: peaceful and beautiful Dernwood Farm Nr Heathfield, East Sussex.

On this 2-day course we’ll be in the woods making hand built pottery using clay that we’ll dig from the land on the day. This course provides a thorough understanding of what’s involved in making wild pottery, and gives you a hands-on appreciation of the origins of this ancient craft. The tools, equipment and technology we’ll be using are, as far as is known, the same as those used since Neolithic times, when pottery began, and well into the Bronze age.

Day 1 is earth & water: learn how to find and select clay in the landscape, how to collect it and make it usable.  You’ll make a couple of items, and I’ll offer technical assistance for the making, where needed.  You’ll also learn how to make your pot strong enough to survive the firing.

Day 2 is fire & wood: learn how to fire your pots successfully in an open fire. It’s an exciting process to take part in and really magical to witness clay being transformed by fire. You’ll see your pots glowing red hot in the fire and there’ll be the option of using a rudimentary glaze to decorate them. They’ll be cool enough by the end of the day to take home with you. You never know exactly how your pots will turn out so it’s always a bit of a thrill.

A light vegetarian lunch is provided, we’ll have have a kettle on the camp fire, plus a huge tarp on hand for cover in case we need it. I aim to offer you a satisfying learning experience as well as an enjoyable time away from it all. To support you in getting the most from the days, we’ll connect to the woodland surroundings through a short and simple, guided mindfulness-based practice.

Two wonderful days of creative discovery, earthing and connectedness. I especially appreciated your careful pacing and clear explanations of the whole process, with time also to stop and take stock, reflect and celebrate. I can’t wait to do Wild Pottery Level 2!  Annabel F, London

Wild Pottery courses

Suitable for all levels including beginners. Groups are kept small to allow for individual attention, and the currently required physical distancing.


wild pottery course sussex

 Follow-on course: Wild Pottery Level 2

Accommodation: camping is available at the farm venue and full details about this will be sent to you when you book on the course. The farm also has glamping options- cosy bell tents and cabins with wood-burners. The cost of staying at the farm isn’t included in the cost of the course.

The clay: Native Hands has a special agreement with the farm venue to dig small amounts of clay with participants on Wild Pottery courses. This permission does not extend to people who are not part of the group on the day of the course.

You can read FAQs here. 

See you in the woods!

Featured in the Guardian lifestyle section. National Geographic & Toyota put Native Hands in their top 125 UK adventures.