Frequently Asked Questions
Is throwing on the wheel difficult?
Throwing on the wheel is a skill acquired by regularly practising a physical process. It can be described as “the art of repetition”.
How long does it take to learn?
Everyone learns at their own pace. At Leith Community Pottery you will be in a small group (maximum 4 people) and will get individual attention and guidance.
Depending on your personal aptitude, you will progress through making cylinders, mugs with handles, small bowls and decorative objects.
If you attend more than one course your skills will of course increase over time.
Does it hurt?
No. You may find mild abrasion on the blades of your hands to begin with, but this will quickly abate – it’s like the grooves you would get on your finger- tips when beginning to learn a stringed instrument; the skin quickly toughens.
What else will I learn on the course?
The course will cover trimming pots, handle-making, decorating techniques and glazing. You will also learn a reasonable amount of technical detail about the process of working with clay.
However, there are no tests and no certificates issued at this time.
Are any of the materials I will be using toxic or dangerous?
Clay is neither toxic nor dangerous although one in every several thousand people may have an allergic skin reaction to it.
This will be explained and discussed on the first visit to the pottery. Please be assured that it is extremely rare.
Some of the glaze materials in use may be hazardous and appropriate health and safety instruction and measures will be in place if such materials are to be used.
Will I get to take finished work home and how many pieces will I be able to make?
Everyone will take home a good number of finished pieces (up to 20 or 30). You are however not obliged to fire everything you make. Remember, fired ceramic lasts for thousands of years and will be there, with your name on it, long after you are not!
Will I be able to use what I make at home, for food and drinks for
Yes. At LCP we use stoneware, which is dishwasher, oven and frost proof. All our glazes are food-safe. The ware however cannot be used on the hob – it is not flame proof.
Will I need to buy/bring my own pottery tools?
Please don’t buy tools initially. You will be provided with appropriate tools and may have the chance to make one or two of your own. The Potter of Leith will advise on the purchase of tools otherwise, should you wish to have your own.
The internet and craft shops are full of poor quality tool sets and you may waste your money if you purchase from certain outlets.
What should I wear when attending pottery classes?
Pottery can be a messy process, so best to wear old clothes or bring an overall or apron.
It is important to wear flat-soled shoes.
Will clay mark or stain my clothing / shoes?
Clay is simply mud, so although messy, it will easily wash off clothing and shoes.
What should I bring?
You should bring an old towel, which you’ll need to put across your lap whilst throwing.
It’s best NOT to buy tools until you’ve attended the pottery and had a little advice on the matter. In fact, it’s not necessary to buy your own unless you want to as we will supply everything you need.
Is there car and/or bicycle parking at Leith Community Pottery?
Yes. There is ample parking and several cycle racks are available. LCP is also on the current LRT No.1 bus route.
Is the Pottery wheel chair accessible?
The Pottery itself is wheel chair accessible but Leith Business Centre, which houses the Pottery, does not have suitable toilets for wheel chair users at this time.
Is the film “Ghost” a true story?
Can Demi Moore really throw pots?