You may recall that in my ‘What I’m Looking Forward To In February‘ post, I mentioned my excitement about at an upcoming pottery workshop.
Well my sister and I attended this on Saturday and we loved it!
The lesson was held by Vinegar Hill Pottery – a B&B with attached pottery studio in Milford-on-Sea in the New Forest. Our teacher was a guy called Dave who now makes his living by making some beautiful clay pots, bowls, cups, dishes, plates…. you name it, he makes it!
There were six of us (all lovely ladies) who attended – there’s a maximum group size of six, and it sounds like they get pretty booked up all the time.
We started off trying to make some basic pots. This was a lot harder than Dave made it look! Trying to bring the sides of the clay up without it buckling or falling apart is pretty tricky. Although my sister seemed to be a bit of a natural at making bowls. When it came to elevensis, most of us had only made about three pots or bowls, but Anna had made about eight!
We trundled upstairs to the little dining room/gallery area for our elevensis – a lovely cup of tea and a slice (okay, two slices) of homemade lemon drizzle cake. Just what us hungry potters needed.
After a this quick break, we headed down and attempted to continue to make some more pots and bowls. It’s amazing how quickly you learn the technique, each time you made one you could feel yourself getting better and better.
Here are the pots I made before lunch. Not a bad collection. Some of them are a bit more wobbly than the others, but I think that just adds to the home-made feel of them.
Lunch was a delightful affair. Homemade lamb meatballs, roasted vegetables, roasted lemon aubergine and freshly made salsa and yogurt dip. Utterly delicious. This was swiftly followed by a rather large slice of apple tart and cream. They also served up a lemon and mint sweet tea, which I’m really keen to recreate at home as it was amazing.
After lunch we headed back downstairs and learned how to make plates and serving bowls and dishes. If we thought bowls were tricky, then plates were a whole new level! I didn’t really manage to make one successful plate at all. Instead I decided to make a set of nice serving bowl/dishes. Perfect for roast potatoes, veggies or a mountain of Yorkshire puddings.
The course price (£85) included three pots. So at the end of the day we had to select the three we wanted to keep. Unless you’re like me and can’t whittle it down to three and pick six instead. Then there’s just a £4 charge per extra item. The pottery will dry our pieces out, then glaze them in a colour of our choice (blue, cream or brown), ready for us to pick up in a month or so.
These are the finished items I decided to keep (everything else got thrown into the sink to be recycled back into usable clay again, so there’s no waste, although it was rather hearbreaking to just chuck away so many nice items. But there would have been big troubs in the Chapman household if I had come home with any more than six pieces!).
So all in all, a really fun day. It was £85 in total, which I don’t think is at all bad. Considering you get to learn a new skill, take home three (or more!) homemade, unique items, and have a very, very tasty elevensis and two course meal too. So I’d really recommend these guys if you want to have a go (fyi, we paid for this all ourselves, this isn’t a promo post, but we had so much fun I just couldn’t not rave about it).
Just make sure you don’t wear your favourite pair of designer jeans and Jimmy Choos….