Hey Clay! Getting creative at The Potter Man Studio

If you have been watching the BBC’s The Great Pottery Thrown Down you may have, like me, been inspired to turn your hand to pottery making. If you haven’t been keeping up with the series, which has the same concept to the Great British Bake Off, there’s likely to be a showing of the classic film, Ghost, over the Christmas period that will get you itchy for a go on a potters wheel.

A few weeks ago I, along with Dave, my sister Sheryl and my two eldest nephews, Keo and Luca, went along to a taster pottery session at The Potter Man Studio. It was one of many free sessions running across the country as part of the ‘Hey, Clay’ campaign run by the Crafts Council and the BBC programme at the start of December.

I had no idea that there was a pottery studio in my closest village, Holme Upon Splading Moor. It’s located on the business park, a former WW2 airfield, just on the outskirts of the village.

Dave and I were running 5 minutes late and were meeting my sister and nephews there. We were met at the door by Lee Steel, the owner of The Potter Man Studio and we were taken through to a room with displays of pottery. Another couple had travelled from a local village to the workshop, so in all there were 7 of us ready to get messy with the clay.


That’s my sister, Sheryl concentrating very hard at the back there, and I’m ‘blending’ the walls of my pot.

Luca, Sheryl and Dave deep in concentration.

I’m adding patterns to the side of my heart-shaped pot

Our pots laid out ready to be put into the kiln.

Lee showed us work from students who attend his pottery classes. I love these ornaments constructed from rolls of clay.

The moment we had all been waiting for- a go on the potters wheel. Yes, it is as hard as it looks!

Luca got the hang of the wheel quickly.

Sheryl’s pot was a little…wonky.

Keo was very probably the most patient and gentle with his pot meaning it was a success first time around. It took the rest of us a few goes before we created something that resembled a pot.

That tall one at the front is mine. Not bad, not bad!

After experiencing the potters wheel we returned to our pots on the table to add the finishing touches. While we were all making receptacles of some sorts, Keo was making this masterpiece.

I used to spend many hours being creative- sewing, painting, baking and drawing- however, in the last few years I haven’t ‘found the time’ to be creative. The taster pottery class was not only fun, it was also therapeutic and calmed my mind after a busy day. The pottery session sparked my creative side once again and I am making one of my 2016 goals to allow myself time to make things again, and not feel guilty for it.

We all really enjoyed our pottery taster session and I recommend to anyone who was inspired by the BBC The Great Pottery Throw Down, or by this blog post, to have a go.

By Jenni Tulip

I'm a bright-haired, hill walking, magpie whispering, skull collecting, tree hugging, money saving, bird watching, happy campervanning, ferret fanatic, woodland dweller sharing my stories and passion for the outdoors to inspire you to immerse yourself in nature.