Wild Pottery – Level 1

Wild Pottery courses

The original Wild Pottery course

April 27/28 (Sat/Sun)
June 7/8 (Fri/Sat)
July 13/14 (Sat/Sun)
Sept 6/7 (Fri/Sat)
Oct 5/6 (Sat/Sun)

10.30am – 5pm both days


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

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

On this 2-day, in-depth 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 and a hands-on appreciation of wild pottery, the origins of an ancient human 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 identify and collect clay from the landscape.  You’ll process it and have time to 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: firing your pots in an open fire. It’s an exciting process and it’s really magical to witness clay being transformed by fire. You’ll see the pots glowing red hot in the fire as the transformation into ceramic occurs. 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.

Wild Pottery courses

A simple but hearty vegetarian lunch is provided, we’ll 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

Suitable for all levels including beginners. Groups are kept small to allow for individual attention.

Accommodation: camping is available at the farm venue (except for the September and October courses, when there is no onsite accommodation available, regrettably*), and full details about this will be sent to you when you book on the course. The farm also has glamping options, including cosy bell tents and cabins with wood-burners. The cost of staying at the farm is not included in the course. *Read more about onsite and offsite accommodation options.

Follow-on courses: Wild Pottery Level 1.5Wild Pottery Level 2 (you don’t need to have done Level 1.5 before joining Level 2. Only Level 1 is required for Level 2)

You can read FAQs here. 

See you in the woods!

wild pottery course sussex

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.

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