Want to learn more about ceramics and pottery?

Over the last twenty years or so I have taught a wide range of pottery classes. Ranging from night school hobby classes through to tertiary level specialist ceramic courses. At the Auckland Studio Potters I was the regular Wednesday morning sculpture class tutor for 6 years and I encouraged my students to take on ambitious projects and to challenge themselves. When I relocated to Hamilton and the Waikato Society of Potters I again picked up teaching – this time the Tuesday morning class and a new cohort of keen students willing to develop their skills and push boundaries.
Now that Charade and I have established our studio at Rahu Road Pottery, we are keen to teach classes and specialised workshops. See Rahu Road Pottery Website for more information.
I am happy to travel around the country to teach workshops and so if you or your pottery club are keen then please get in touch – here’s a sample of some of the topics I can cover.

  • Glaze theory
  • Formulating glazes
  • Methods of application
  • Kiln building
  • Using and controlling electric and gas kilns
  • Wood kiln firing
  • Throwing (beginners to advanced)
  • Assembling and altering from thrown shapes
  • Slab, coil and extrusions
  • Free form sculpture

Workshops for 2024

Hosted by Rahu Road Pottery this workshop series will be an immersive experience, teaching a combination of both the how and the why of making.

Tutor: Duncan Shearer
For the 2024 Workshops we’re only taking bookings after the date listed in the class details. To book, please click on the button below – you’ll be taken to the Rahu Road Pottery website.

Throwing Lidded Forms

Date: 24 February, 9am to 4pm
Booking opens: 9am, 5 February

A one day intensive course that explores lids and galleries and how they function. Duncan will demonstrate a range of techniques and forms that you will then have a go at making. Considerations about aesthetics and functionality will be covered as well as tips on glazing. To get the most from this workshop you do need some throwing skills. We will be using the Leach treadle wheel.
Maximum 4 students, $210 (includes refreshments and lunch).

Taming of the Kiln

Dates: 6 & 7 April, all day
Booking opens: 9am, 26 February

This workshop is an introduction to wood firing and the soda glazing process. Based around loading and firing of our wood kiln for a soda firing we will also be covering the principles at work in wood fired kilns. Work for the firing will need to be bisque fired and glazed with suitable stoneware glazes (firing to cone 11, 1300 degrees), loading on Saturday and firing on Sunday. The kiln will be unloaded on the following Wednesday. We have a limited range of glazes and flashing slips available, comprehensive notes will be emailed to you once your booking is confirmed.
Maximum 6 students, $420 (includes refreshments and lunches)

Glaze Technology – Beginner

Date: 4 May, 9am to 4pm
Booking opens: 9am, 15 April

This course covers glazing methods including pouring, dipping and spraying using specialised tools. We also explore layering using a variety of resist methods. Additionally we cover a basic overview of the materials that make up a glaze and what to look for in choosing a new glaze recipe. Please bring some of your own bisque ware to practice on.
Maximum 6 students, $210 (includes refreshments and lunch)

Glaze Technology – Intermediate

Date: 8 June, 9am to 4pm
Booking opens: 9am, 20 May 

This course is focussed on understanding the materials that are used in making up a glaze, how to formulate a recipe and test it. We look at how to take an existing glaze and make it your own by adapting it to your clay and style. You will have a go at glaze test trials and learn tips of the trade about material selection. There will also be time to answer your specific glaze issue. 
Maximum 6 students. $210 (includes refreshments and lunch)

Glaze Technology – Advanced

Date: 6 July, 9am to 4pm
Booking opens: 9am, 17 June

Delve into the chemistry that sits behind the materials we use in glazes. This course is focussed on understanding Unity Molecular Formula and how that applies to your glazes. We look at the important ratios between different oxides and how these affect your glazes. We will be using various computer programmes and experiments to understand how the ratios alter glazes.
Maximum 6 students. $210 (includes refreshments and lunch).

Mastering Wood Firing Effects

Dates: 28 & 29 September, all day
Booking opens: 9am, 19 August

A more advanced workshop to the earlier ‘Taming of the Kiln’ workshop that is focussed on you developing an individual approach and aesthetic to wood fired soda glazing. So you do need to have had some experience with wood firing and soda glaze. We will be exploring different slips, glazes and clays and firing pieces raw where necessary. We will be loading on Saturday, firing on Sunday with the unloading happening on the following Wednesday
Maximum 6 students. $420 (includes refreshments and lunches).
If you want more information or discuss whether you have enough experience with wood firing then please get in touch.

Manipulating the Surface

Date: 26 October, 9am to 4pm
Booking opens: 9am, 7 October

A workshop that focuses on the clay skin, exploring a range of textures, slips and engobes that can enliven and transform your clay work. These techniques and technologies can be applied to a wide range of forms, including sculptures and thrown work. Throwing and hand-building skills are useful, bring your own tools, clay and other materials provided.
Maximum 6 students. $210 (includes refreshments and lunch)