Online courses

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Online Courses from Tim Thornton

With the shortage of formal courses in pottery and ceramics, it is increasingly difficult to obtain the technical knowledge needed to pursue our craft, whether as a student or as somebody who has come to clay later in life.

Tim Thornton offers a number of online courses that help fill this gap, with the autumn term starting on the 21st of September.

Courses available are:

Studio Health and Safety

This course gives you all the information you need to run a studio safely, and also how to evaluate how much truth there is in some of the health and safety posts on social media and elsewhere.

You will learn about how to identify and resolve risks in the studio, through the whole making process from dealing with clay and other raw materials, through making and firing work to final packaging. You will understand how to identify any potentially harmful materials in the studio, and how to deal with them. You will also get to understand good working practice in the studio, as well as appropriate clothing and the use of PPE. You will also be shown resources that you can use to help decide whether something is a significant risk or not.

The course doesn’t deal with the specific legal responsibilities of having staff, or of running a teaching studio, though the health and safety aspects are covered

Product Safety

If you make functional work, then this is the course for you. This course tells you all you need to know to make work that is safe for the user, including glaze stability and food safety, and all the other aspects of producing good, safe, functional work. All aspects of product safety are covered, giving you the underlying theory, the means to test pieces, how to improve the design, and the relevant standards and legislation.

A considerable proportion of the course covers making durable glazes, crazing, leaching and food safety. Attention is also given to all the items that may be used on the table or in the kitchen. Also producing pieces that are frost proof. And general considerations such as stability and waterproofness.

Electric Kilns and Firing

A new course that covers everything you are likely to need to know about electric kilns and firing them. It is ideal for you if you’ve just bought a kiln and want to get to grips with it, or if you use a studio where work is fired for you and you want to understand what happens, or if you’ve had a kiln for a while but aren’t sure if you’re getting the most out of it.

The course covers choosing, installing and maintaining your kiln; kiln safety; how a kiln heats up, how we measure it with thermocouples and cones, and how we control it with the kiln controller; what happens to clays and glazes during the firing; how best to load your kiln and when to unload it; and firing faults, their prevention and cure.

For more information, and to book your place, please go to

Tim Thornton Ceramics

Tel. 07985 927376

Instagram @Tim_Thornton_Ceramics

Facebook @TimThorntonCeramics

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