Women’s Wild Pottery
3/4 May 2024, East Sussex
This workshop has emerged from being the caretaker, since 2018, of a number of genuine prehistoric female figurines. It’s been an inspiring and creative experience that has enriched my long-standing interest in Stone Age art and stimulated a lot of reflection about the feminine, about being a woman. I’m happy to now invite you to this two day, hands-on event.
Our ancestors (and some peoples in the world still today) understood life to be a feminine force, embodied through the human female form, but also expressed through plants, animals, the waters and the earth itself. These forms also reflect our personal experiences of being a woman, the various expressions of who we are.
By connecting with an inner sense of this generative principle, we reflect on how we express it in the world. Perhaps more than ever we feel a need for nurturing our feminine energy and wisdom, to help redress the imbalances we see; to feel more resilient, resourced, effective.
On these immersive days on the land together, two of the prehistoric figurines will be with us. We’ll journey inwards to explore and connect with what the feminine principle may mean to each of us. It’s also an opportunity to connect more deeply with whatever phase of womanhood we find ourselves in.
Keeping this information close, we’ll work directly with the elements, using clay dug from Mother Earth, making it into a form that expresses our experience of the timeless feminine. I will offer any technical assistance needed to support you in the making. On the second day we’ll give our makings to the fire, in the same way our distant ancestors would have done, which will transmute them into ceramic.
It was such a powerful and enriching experience that it’s hard to talk about, but part of me wants to rush back to those woods and continue to deepen into what I connected with there, something deeply feminine and wonderful that I had lost touch with.
You held the space so generously and kindly. I love my miraculous clay figures, I think they are just as you suggest: seeds for new creative development and exploration.
It can be very meaningful to make pottery in a circle of women. Perhaps because of our innate connection to the earth, perhaps because we have a sense of the intense transformation that the body of the clay goes through in the fire. Making with the clay in this way we tap into a lineage of ancestors: intimate with earth and fire, immersed in nature with the trees and birds around us.
There will be support for you to embody and integrate what you create. And we’ll look at how you can continue the connection with what you’ve made, to have a living relationship with it that’s meaningful to you.
My intention is for this to be a grounded, supportive and heartful time. No previous experience of pottery is needed, just an open mind and the desire to connect.
We gather at the time of Beltane, a vibrant and potent moment in the cycle of the year; an ancient fire festival.
May 3/4 (Fri/Sat), 10.30am-5pm both days, £280
We’ll be tucked away in private woodland on Dernwood Farm Nr Heathfield, East Sussex. A simple but hearty vegetarian lunch is provided, along with plenty of biscuits and herb teas. We’ll have a kettle on the fire, plus a huge tarp on hand for cover in case we need it.
If you’d like to join, please get in touch and include a few words about your interest in attending.
If your interest is for an in-depth understanding of the ceramic processes involved, Wild Pottery Level 1 is for you. The focus of Women’s Wild Pottery is a reflective one and doesn’t cover the technicals. I also offer Family Wild Pottery .
Accommodation: if you would like to stay onsite, camping is available at the farm venue and full details about this will be sent to you when you book. 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.
You can read FAQs here.
We nurture the wisdom and love to both care for the inner world, and contribute to the outer world, and know them as the same. Martin Aylward
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 again – for providing such a beautiful space with your energy, and for sharing these valuable crafts and techniques with us.