Ceramics Hand Building

Get started on your ceramics adventure, building and sculpting clay by hand.

In this creative and experimental ceramics course, learn how to prepare clay pieces for your project, join pieces together successfully, and decorate and finish your work so that it will survive firing.

Coil construction, pinch pots and slab building techniques create endless possibilities to make clay forms without a pottery wheel. This is a course where your imagination can roam free, pushing the limits and boundaries of what is possible with the material.

Tutor Helen Lemke enjoys the organic form of clay, watching forms emerge from her imagination, letting the clay speak to her as she works with it. Let Helen awaken your inner creator and see what treasures and artefacts are hidden within you!

The course begins with model-making to learn the hand building techniques, before a series of free-form sessions in which you will be individually mentored and coached by Helen. Students will be able to experiment with different handbuilding clays to see the colour and finishing effects possible with each. Add decorative effects to your work such as burnishing and imprinting and explore the possibilities for finishing your work without glazes.

The term will finish with a group bonfire burning session on Helen's property, and after the coals have cooled down, the works will be revealed to the class for analysis and feedback on the effects achieved in the firing.

  • When
    Register Your Interest for 2020
  • Where
    Studio at MAMA's House, Albury Botanic Gardens
  • Price
    $375 ($350 Member/Concession)

Meet the Tutor: Helen Lemke

Helen began as a primary school teacher in Canberra after completing a Bachelor of Arts at the Australian National University and a Diploma of Education at the University of Canberra. She had a 'clay change' in her late 30's after she dreamt about handmade bread and butter plates in kitchen cupboards and exotic sculptural vessels in glass cases.

She graduated with a Diploma of Art from the National Art School in Sydney in the early 90's and has been making, and teaching clay skills since then.

Helen loves the tactility of clay, its folds, creases, wrinkles and stretch marks. She loves the fact that it's three dimensional, and that it is completely reclaimable until fired. She is drawn to low firing techniques that have been around for millennia. She makes simple domestic flatware and bowls, as well as black-fired and sawdust fired decorative objects.

She is inspired by ancient Japanese Jomon vessels, the work of Maria Martinez and the quiet sculptural work of Richard Long. She is also inspired by the philosophy and aesthetic of Zen. She is working on some 'breath boxes' at the moment to hold some new ideas.

Helen enjoys teaching and believes that beauty has an inherently transforming quality. She thinks that the world would be a better place if more of us were in touch with our creativity, and makes an effort to facilitate this. She is a 'hands-on' teacher who encourages her students to explore their own creativity.


Please note: in making a booking with MAMA you agree to the terms and conditions.