The intricate journey into making your own pottery

Naturemuse Ceramic studio is home to ceramic and visual artist Fiona Cuthbert O’Meara. It is where she lives and practices, alongwith teaching classes in her well-appointed space.

Classes are tailored for the absolute beginner or for those with some existing experience with making ceramics.

Pottery Materials Used
  • Access to 8 pottery wheels
  • Specialised pottery tools for wheel throwing and hand building and sculpture
  • Mini-slab roller and extruder
  • Electric and gas firing services
  • An extensive range of raw materials and hand-made studio glazes and recycled clay blends (access to these resources is dependent on the class that you take).
Our Atmospheric Firings

At certain times throughout the terms, enrolled students have the opportunity to be involved in various atmospheric firings such as:

  • Gas reduction firings
  • Pit firing, raku firing
  • Wood firing which are all held at the studio.

When you look at a piece of hand-made pottery it can be hard to understand just how much love and attention has gone into making that one piece.

My students often hear me say, “there’s a month in every pot”. There is a very detailed process on how we achieve your perfect piece. Fiona helps with each stage of the process in easy steps!

From selecting the best clay for that one piece, to the wedging and kneading that it takes to prepare your clay for wheel throwing to the actual process of wheel throwing itself (which takes many years to perfect) requires a finely tuned skill set.

Even after the piece is formed or “thrown” on the wheel head it must be carefully partially dried and “turned or trimmed” to finish the bottom of the piece so it is both functionally and aesthetically pleasing. The pottery is then dried slowly so as it is bone dry before going into the kiln.

After the work is dried thoroughly before being fired for the first time (it is called the bisque fire), where the water is driven out of the piece (chemically bound water, even if you can’t see or feel it, it’s still there) some changes occur in the clay body at very high temperatures which transform the clay into “ceramic”.

If we do not take great care at this stage we can have problems with the unwanted generation of steam, which can cause cracking and occasionally unwanted explosions in the kiln.

This first firing allows the work to be more robust so as we can go about the final stages of glazing and re-firing the work to a higher temperature to actually finish the piece so it’s ready for use.

The bisque fired clay is still nice and porous enabling the surface to drink up the glazes so that they adhere to the lining of the pottery so they can be fired again and form a thin layer of melted glass onto the surface. This final firing ensures that the pottery piece is “vitrified” or water tight, so it reaches a stage of hardness and maturity that prolongs its shelf life and renders it useable for every-day use.

The selection of glazes to suit the pottery piece is quite a process in itself. There are many considerations to make such as:
  • the clay used
  • firing range temperatures
  • whether or not the piece is of a sculptural nature or to be used with food
  • colour/texture/composition
  • application techniques for desired effects and more

At Naturemuse Ceramic Studio all glazes are made from scratch using ground up rock and minerals derived from the earth, mixed up in specific batches that are weighed out to create glaze formulas that are both aesthetically pleasing and functional and appropriate for use with each ceramic piece.

Each Workshop is broken down into easy, digestible steps

Fiona helps to get you started on the exciting path to making your very own pottery.

She will help you not only begin to develop a valuable skill set, but to explore your own unique artistic expression as you learn and develop skills and tap into your own inner artist, no matter what the outcome.

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Intermediate Ceramics & Wheel Throwing

Prerequisites required; Ceramic Glazing 101 & Wheel Throw workshop must be completed.

Commence anytime based on availability, however, there is a waiting list for this class. 

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Booking T&Cs

When you purchase a ticket, you acknowledge and agree that:

  • Cancellations made with more than 7 working days in advance of the event start date will receive a full refund. Cancellations made with less than 7 working days to the training start date will not be eligible for a refund of any kind. Class sizes are kept small to optimise your experience and we ask that you are clear about your dates please. Due to small class sizes and the specialised equipment required, we cannot offer make-up sessions if any classes are missed within your workshop timeframe.
  • You may transfer your registration to another one of our scheduled Workshops in the same calendar year (pending availability) any time before 7 working days of the event; you will not be entitled to a refund for the difference.

Next Steps

Once you’ve secured your spot, in addition to your tax receipt, you’ll receive an email from Fiona acknowledging your registration.

If you haven’t received the confirmation email within a couple of hours of your purchase, please check your junk mail.

Fiona will be in contact a week before classes start to provide you with instructions and what to bring.