Wild Pottery – Level 2
July (3 days)
2022 dates TBC
Venue: 70 acre ancient coppiced woodland on a family-run working farm: peaceful and beautiful Dernwood Farm Nr Heathfield, East Sussex.
Over 3 days you’ll learn how to make wild pottery using clay you dig from the woods, decorate it with natural pigments and then fire it in a clamp kiln. Clamp kiln firing is a more complex technique than the open firing we do in Wild Pottery Level 1. And because it burns for a significantly longer time, it results in stronger ceramic pots.
This course provides an understanding of all the processes involved in making wild pottery, and gives you a hands-on appreciation of the origins of this 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.
The making: the whole of the first day will be for making your pots. You’ll dig your own clay, as you did on Level 1, but prep it slightly differently. You’ll learn more complex construction techniques for your pots than you did on Level 1 and will also be able to consolidate your existing skills. Natural earth pigments will be available for you to decorate your pots if you wish.
The firing: on the second day we’ll set up the clamp kiln together. Once it’s up and running, it will burn through the night to the following day. At times we’ll need to keep a close eye on the kiln and monitor its progress. At other times there’ll be a chance to enjoy some down time in the beautiful woods. Because of the nature of the firing process and the variables involved, daily timings will vary a bit as we respond to the kiln. (This is essentuially a 2.5 day course spread over 3 days)
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.
It was great to work together communally and use our physical bodies to dig, knead, mould, sweep, build, blow, and wait. I really loved it and felt my body just relax and take up more space, feel more solid… it was an effect I wasn’t expecting!
Thank you so much for providing such a beautiful space with your energy, and for sharing these valuable crafts and techniques with us. VT, Sussex
Groups are kept small to allow for individual attention, and the currently required physical distancing.
Wild Pottery Level 1 is a prerequisite for anyone wishing to join this course. If you’ve not already attended Level 1, you can book a place on it here. There are a number of Level 1 courses earlier in the year, including one the week before Level 2, so that you could attend both courses back-to-back for a fully immersive experience.
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.