Over this amazing five day experience, ceramic artist Melina Xenaki will take you on an ancient journey using traditional methods to transform clay into ceramics in a pit fire.
Much of your work will be experimental using both modern and ancient techniques of hand building pots and small sculptures using processed clay as well as clay collected from Wernog Wood.
Melina will take you through the processes of digging, sieving and drying wild clay and making small test pieces to fire in a pit.
And then on to the pit firing process which in construction is just as important as your clay. You will dig a trench, collect combustibles & layer your pit to achieve the right heat levels. You will experiment with decorative techniques and colorants. Cow pies, seaweed, grasses, banana skins, leaves, twigs, copper and coal will all be part of the process. Be prepared to get stuck in, you will be digging, playing with fire and getting properly mucky.
Melina Xenaki is a London/Athens based ceramic artist. After achieving a first-class BA Hons in Ceramics & Glass in Farnham, she went on to do a Masters at the Royal College of Art.
Melina draws inspiration from her rich Greek heritage & creates unique works that reflect her love for the raw and immediate way ancient artefacts of the Mediterranean carry patterns, animals and plants. Fundamental to her style are her processes of hand building and experimentation with glazes. She is driven by a curiosity to incorporate unusual colours and textures and collects soil, ash and rocks to make her own glazes. Click to see her work
She has collaborated with large architectural practices to create ceramic installations and created an exclusive collection for shops in the British Museum and Benaki Museum of Greek Culture. Alongside her practice as a maker, Melina has taught ceramics at St Ann’s psychiatric hospital and Pentonville men's prison.
Stories from our students
This is the first time we have run this course so we hope you will create your own stories