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Smoke Firing with Mella Shaw

Dates Saturday 13 May & 3 June
Time 10am – 4pm 
Price £200 (£180)  

Learn how to make and smoke-fire your own clay forms. The course will take place over two full days; the first in hand-building in clay for low temperature firings and a second session in how to decorate these forms and how to load and set off a smoke-firing. 

Suitable for beginners and those with some experience of working with clay as well. 




The course will be broken down into two full-day Saturday workshops and an optional glazing session.  

During the sessions you will learn: 

  • Hand-building techniques to make sculptural forms. 
  • Masking techniques to decorate your bisque fired work.  
  • How to load and fire the smoke-firing using combustibles such as onion skins, banana skins and pinecones. 
  • How different combustibles affect the surface of the fired work. 
  • All the necessary skills enabling you to smoke-fire ceramic work yourself in the future. 

The smoke firing takes about 12 hours and, once fired, the pieces will be ready for you to collect. 

Mella Shaw uses clay to make thought-provoking objects and site-specific installations centred around re-occurring themes of balance, tipping-points, fragility and loss. Her approach has its roots in activism – making publicly-engaged environmental work addressing specific issues in the global climate crisis.  

Mella has a background in Anthropology and Museum Curation and Display which underpins her varied ceramics practice. Graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2013, Mella exhibited nationally and internationally, having pieces in various public and private collections. She is a visiting lecturer on the BA Ceramic Design course at Central St Martins, London. 

Courses are subject to minimum enrolment, so please book as soon as possible, to reduce the likelihood of course cancellation. 

Please read our Bookings and Cancellation Policy here .