Pottery and Ceramics Intermediate

Course overview

This practice-led pottery and ceramics course is for learners who have a basic knowledge of working with clay and would like to increase both technical and design skills.

Whilst working on your own projects you will be encouraged to experiment with different methods of making, decorating, and glazing techniques, in order to promote individual creative potential.

New and returning students work alongside each other in a mutually supportive environment in our well-equipped workshop in which you will learn both from your tutor and each other.

Once fired in the kiln, you will be able to take away your own handmade pieces.

Please note: The listed fees cover teaching and the use of the facilities. You will be required to pay additional charges for the bisque and glaze firing of your work.

Courses run term-time only.

paint brushes


By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • further develop chosen making skills in a range of ceramic techniques e.g.. hand-building, throwing, decoration and glazing
  • discuss and question appropriate techniques and materials in order to develop individual project work
  • demonstrate awareness of health and safety issues in ceramics through safe studio practice, with consideration toward others

Your tutor will demonstrate and discuss a wide range of methods in all hand-building, decorating, glazing, and on-glaze techniques for you to explore as appropriate. You will be encouraged to share practice, self-assess, and problem-solve, through both group and individual discussions. 

Furthermore, you will get the opportunity to develop your skills according to your own specific needs.

Some experience in ceramics/pottery would be beneficial, but not essential; you work at your own pace and level. All learners are supported by the tutor throughout each project.

You will need to bring:

  • a sketchbook and something to write with
  • a towel
  • an apron/wear old clothes that you don’t mind getting messy
  • enthusiasm for the subject and a willingness to learn!

You may wish to bring hand cream and a dust mask. If you have sensitive skin, you may also wish to bring a pair of washing-up gloves.

You must wear flat shoes as this is a safety requirement. Working with clay can get very messy!

Please explore the many other options available.

Tutor Profile: Rafa Borja

Born in Colombia, Rafa now lives and works in Oxford, UK.

Fascinated from an early age by the behaviour of different materials, he studied at the School of Fine Art & Music in Cartagena, Colombia (La Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes Cartegena de Indias).

Originally a sculptor in plaster, then wood, and then stone, he works now entirely in ceramics, sculpting and experimenting.

Rafa is Artist in Residence and tutor at ActivateLearning. He also volunteers to run firings at the Anagama Kilns in Oxford.


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Meet the tutors

We want our learners to feel welcome, safe and at ease when attending our classes, especially if this is your first time attending an adult education class or if you're coming back to education after a break.
If you're interested in one of courses, meet our tutors first! You'll see they have similar passions and interests and, most importantly, the right qualifications to help you make the most of your time and money.