18 & 19 July | Smoke Fired Pots – Expect the Unexpected! (age 15+)

Dates: Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 July

Making Pots: 18 and 19 July
Smoke Firing: 22 August (half day)
Polishing: 23 August (half day)
Times: 18 and 19 July: 10.00 – 17.00 (Lunch 1-2pm), 22 and 23 August: 14:00 – 17:00
Tutor: Frances Marr

Please note – lunch is not included in the cost of the course. You are welcome to bring a picnic lunch. Or why not have your lunch in our amazing Mess Restaurant at Messums Wiltshire Gallery in Tisbury? The Mess restaurant is open Thursday to Monday (11 – 3pm).

Course description:

If you would like to experiment with a firing technique that celebrates the elemental unpredictability of ceramic process, then join Frances Marr in this short course which will introduce you to the exciting technique of smoke-firing. You will have the chance to make sculptural vessels via coiling and pinch pot making techniques and learn about smoothing and burnishing the surface with the option of applying coloured slips.

The second part of the course will be a hands-on introduction to smoke-fired ceramics using wood, seaweed, leaves, and other natural combustible materials that imprint the unique atmospheric markings left on each piece.

This workshop consists of two days making your pots or sculptural pieces, and culminates in a barrel firing once your work has been biscuit fired. Frances will be encouraging all students to be experimental in their approach and to embrace the chance and drama this process inevitably gives.

Frances has a background in graphic design and printmaking. She began working in ceramics in 2005. Frances’ work celebrates landscapes and the natural environment. For several years she has worked with clay, using traditional hand building techniques and elemental processes such as ‘barrel’ firing to make vessels and sculptural pieces.


The cost of materials and firing is included in the cost of this course.

This course is intended for adults but may be attended by students aged 15+ providing that they come together with an adult who is also a member of the class

Bring: Apron, old towel, and teaspoon. Please wear closed-toe shoes.