Course dates for 2023
|July||July 9th – 16th now full|
Summer School Course Details
Our aim is to develop your potting skills, decorative techniques, glazing and firing skills. We endeavour to foster an appreciation of form, its subtleties, and variations as well as developing an awareness of the long history and richness of pottery. All this in an enjoyable atmosphere, where the experience of the routine in a working pottery and our “from the ground up” way of doing things will ensure you go away with a sense of achievement. We are passing on the knowledge we have acquired over forty years of potting, both in the UK and enriched by experiences working and observing techniques across four continents.
In the course of a week, the full scope of a potter’s cycle will be covered, from clay mixing to firing. Individual tuition combined with excellent facilities and our working methods will make this an experience to remember.
The June week is a departure from our long-running courses in that it is a non-firing course. No pots will be fired or taken away. This is to remove students from any attachment to the pots they are working on so as to develop their critical judgement while applying themselves to gaining and refining their making skills. There will be 5 full days of making all kinds of pots, including large pots and a wide-ranging discussion of clays, charters and handling. No lunches will be provided during this week.
Ground breaking weekly courses since 1970’s
Holistic intensive approach to pottery
Douglas started his ground breaking weekly courses in the 1970’s, pioneering the holistic intensive approach to pottery. He built on his training at Harrow and worked with the likes of Michael Cardew, Mick Casson and Gwyn Hanssen and his studies of the workings and production of indigenous potters in many parts of the world.
With the energy of youth, he covered what others thought was an impossible span of the potters experience, history and techniques in the long days of summer. The students responded to his enthusiasm and came from all over the world to take part.
Douglas Phillips established the pottery in Queen Camel in the late ’70s with the aim of making beautiful and useful pots of all kinds and sizes; also to continue with the summer school he had started in Devon. The summer school, with its strong international following, had become a corner stone in Douglas’s working life. The enthusiasm of these students, who travel often thousands of miles, to spend one week or several or a whole summer, to work long hours learning from Douglas, was very uplifting. In partnership with Jennie, and with the help of many assistants, the studios, kilns, clay mixing etc, quickly became a reality.
The summer courses are based on the unique idea of completing a potters working cycle each week. Using the well tried traditions of millenniums, including once firing in wood-burning kilns, has proved very appealing to aspiring potters (and to people who just wanted to get their hands dirty in a creative way) who continued to beat a path to Queen Camel in increasing numbers. Student numbers rose to 120 in one season, coming from 11 different countries. Wonderful though it was to have the world come to their door, Douglas and Jennie were feeling their energies and time for potting running low, so scaled back the numbers of weeks of teaching and varied the format.
Over the years they have held advanced 2 week courses, workshops on porcelain, salt glaze, kiln building and glaze technology. Numerous master potters have been to the pottery in Queen Camel to demonstrate and give workshops and this tradition continues. The list includes David Leach, David Eeles, Mike Dodd, John Maltby, Sven Bayer, Clive Bowen, Nigel Wood, Caroline Whyman, Walter Keeler, Colin Pearson, Mike Bailey, Jane Hamlyn, Paul Stubbs, Kevin Crowe, Christine Ann Richards, etc