Throwing Porcelain on the Wheel with Nina Rail
Learn how to throw porcelain on the wheel under the guidance of Nina Rail, a true specialist, and add the exceptional qualities of porcelain to your ceramic repertoire.
Throwing with porcelain comes with a unique set of challenges due to the material’s softness and propensity to absorb water. But, once mastered, an ability to work with a material which is exceptionally hard but delicate, bright white and translucent will vastly expand the potential of your ceramic work.
On the Saturday, Nina will begin by addressing the fundamental challenges of throwing with porcelain and the best ways of overcoming them. She will show you how to throw two very different shapes – a large porcelain bowl and a narrow bottle – and which special considerations they require.
On the Sunday you will trim your pots from the day before and further practice throwing other, desired shapes and additional questions such as throwing knobs on thin lids or tea pot spouts.
This course is for those with experience throwing on the wheel – you should already feel comfortable with the basics of throwing with clay. Porcelain and bisque firing are included in the price and you don’t have to bring anything with you, except maybe an old t-shirt or apron (even though porcelain washes easily out of clothes!)
Saturday and Sunday, 1st and 2nd of October, 9.30-13.00 o’clock
Course will be held in English
‚The goal is not to create the perfect pot. It is to create a pot in a way that is simple, working mostly by hand, using as few gadgets and pre-made substances as possible, while giving it all the focus it needs. The goal is that this pot is better than the last, and that I learn something in the process.‘
My pottery journey started by learning throwing on the wheel in a small ceramic studio in Prague. I appreciated the concentration it required, the state of mind I achieve through repetition and the joy of getting better with each piece. For ten years I worked as a production thrower for several potters, initially in Prague and then in London. During my time in London I met Caroline Whyman and began throwing porcelain for her while practicing my own work at night. I’ve been greatly influenced by British pottery, now mostly throwing subtle porcelain vessels which I like to combine with both matching and contrasting pots in different materials. I focus on what I think of as ‚evolving continuity‘, allowing for experimentation and constant learning. I make all my glazes from scratch, firing in a communal gas kiln during the winter months and wood-firing a small garden kiln in the summer. Wood-firing taught me to accept and appreciate accidents and the aesthetics of combining remote disciplines like gentle, thrown porcelain with the hard work of wood firing with all of its black smoke and fire.
My work was included in group shows in the Czech Republic and France and is regularly featured in magazines.
Whatever knowledge I have has come from close observation, study and, mostly, from many trials and frequent errors. I am very happy to share whatever I have learned along the way.