Wow what a busy few weeks, it has been an absolute delight meeting so many lovely people who have tried their hands at wheel thrown pottery. Lots of amazing pots have been made and hopefully ceramic journeys started for them.
We have been so busy we haven’t had a chance to update social media or on here. Over the summer booking in advance via our website is advisable but it is always worth popping in. We will try to accommodate as many people as possible and have had a few early starts and lots of evenings so far.
We have freed up some days over the next month when the pottery wouldn’t normally be open to try to let as many people as possible create fun memories and hopefully start new pottery lives.
Wow, time is flying at the moment; lots and lots going on and we have been covered in clay quite a lot so our blog has been quiet.
We had a full and fun-packed Easter and May. It has been a pleasure meeting so many people and getting them on the potter’s wheel for the first time. It’s also been really great having people come back for longer lessions after trying for the first time last year. Fingers crossed, lots of future potters have now gone back all over the UK.
The pottery area has undergone a lot of rearranging and planning to make space for our brand new kiln. We have just completed its second firing and are now playing with glazes in between lessons. We will also be offering more options with our pottery lessons including firing customers’ masterpieces. Something we keep getting asked to do is a block of lessons which could be split up over a week or two for people who want to have more time on the wheel. This is something we have thought of and will be working on options to share soon.
With Mothers’ Day fast approaching are you stuck thinking of something fun and different to do? How about bringing her for a Pottery Taster Session with us? Or giving her a gift voucher to use when she wants to? A pottery session for you and your mum is a lovely joint activity. We will be available for pre-booked workshops on Sunday 31st and as normal the following week.
With the popularity of our taster sessions and the requests for more in-depth pottery lessons, we have been working on new options. So if you’re looking for things to do in St. Ives, we now offer three types of pottery wheel-throwing experiences. Adding to our classic Pottery Taster Session you can now also book a 1 hour Pottery Lesson and an Intensive Wheel-Throwing Experience.
These three are all make-and-take sessions, once your creation has dried enough.
Pottery Taster Session
Create your own pot on a potter’s wheel, in this introductory session that lasts up to half an hour. Our resident potter will give you a demonstration, the you will try your hand creating a pot.
We try to make this a fun and relaxed experience for all ages and skill levels, with no pressure.
You can take away 1 pot from this session.
For those wanting a more in-depth introduction to pottery wheel-throwing our new Pottery Lesson is a great start and lasts one hour. Our resident potter will give you a demonstration, then go into the history and processes of wheel-throwing, including the background history of pottery in St Ives, wedging the clay, centering and throwing a pot. You will have one-to-one tuition while you create various pieces at a relaxed pace. You can take away 3 pots from this session.
Intensive Wheel-Throwing Experience.
Learn new techniques and how to create various vessels in this action-packed informative lesson lasting 90 minutes per person. It is suitable for adult beginners, or those with a little more experience. After a demonstration on centering and cylinders, you will begin mastering the basics. Then you will be set challenges on the wheel, including throwing the tallest pot you can, forming a wide bowl using different throwing techniques, and finally designing and decorating a piece using all the skills you have learnt. Our potter will be with you throughout to tutor and advise you. You can take away 4 pots from this session.
We have now been teaching people wheel-throwing for a whole year! Over 240 people, most of them having their first ever go on a potter’s wheel. It has been amazing fun and great meeting so many enthusiastic people of all ages, all of whom successfully created something. Today one of the very first people to have a go came in to see us to let us know she has carried on and is currently doing a pottery course, which made Angela’s day. It is lovely to have helped people start off on a ceramics journey that will keep making them happy, as well as getting more people doing crafts through the toyshop.
Very soon we will be offering longer and more advanced pottery courses as we expand. Thanks to a lot of hard work and help from Angela’s family and Cultivator we will have a kiln by the end of April, so expect lots of products from Angela and various new courses to get more people potting. Lots more to come…
As always we have been busy behind the scenes working towards growing and developing the pottery. We had been hoping to have a kiln in the space by now, unfortunately due to some sudden changes in possible funding in West Cornwall, this has been delayed and we are looking at other options. Angela’s creations are filling up the shelves so we are thinking of a possible Kickstarter campaign to help. In the meantime we have got some St. Ives Pottery uniform for Angela to wear!
The pottery wheel-throwing experiences are going well with loads of children and families so far this holiday; it is great fun seeing all the different creations that people make. The way clay behaves on the wheel often surprises people.
As the Summer holidays start, thoughts of beach days and fun activities begin filling people’s minds, and as always we are here to provide some clay fun.
Book a time slot with us or pop past for a drop in session on certain days. All ages are catered for and seeing all the different things people make is great. Individual workshops or groups are welcome; the groups can get quite competitive. And don’t forget we can do evenings as well to make sure anyone who wants to try their hand at being a St. Ives Potter has a chance.
A couple of the great creations made with added textures.
For this Bank Holiday week and half-term we are open some extra hours. You can come in and have a pottery wheel-throwing experience Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Message us on here or pop in from 11am – 4pm and as usual if you would like a different time let us know and we are sure we can sort something out for you. We are closed from Friday 1st June then back to normal Tuesday 5th June.
We have been busy looking at developing the workshop side of the pottery more and had a meeting with Cultivator Cornwall to help us with ideas and growth moving forward. Having our own kiln would be (hopefully) a step closer and we have everything crossed we might have one by the summer holidays so Angela can fire more of her own handmade in St. Ives ceramics and play with glazes on site. As always we have some big ideas we are currently trying to find a way to make happen…stay tuned.
There is help and advice out there for most creative business in Cornwall and The Growth Hub and Cultivator have been a great help in progressing the pottery for help, guidance and reassurance; look them up if you are a fellow Kernow Creative.
We all had lots of fun making pots this week, and next week (19th – 24th February) we will be holding drop-in lessons all week. It has been really nice to see people creating and having a go at a new skill; who knows some could be future potters!
Once you have successfully made something on the wheel you can either carefully take it away straight away or leave it to dry in the pottery to collect at a later time. Pots take around 5 days to dry and can then be painted with poster paints or acrylic and varnished.