Finest Young Talent Host Middleport Courses

Finest Young Talent Host Middleport Courses

The three courses include ceramic sculpting, beginners’ jewellery making and ceramic design and participants will be able to develop their own skills over the period of the courses under the expert guidance of the Middleport designers.

Not only will each participant have the opportunity to create and take home their own hand crafted wares as gifts or personal mementoes, but they will receive tuition from the three artists taking them through the whole start to finish creative process across the weeks from developing concepts and sketching designs, to creating 3d pieces and hand decorating.

Alex Allday, Libby Ward and Jasmine Simpson all work from studios at the tourist attraction. The studios have become a hub of Staffordshire talent, particularly offering opportunities for some of the county’s young and most gifted individuals to not only showcase their work, but also share their skills with the wider Staffordshire community.

Alex Allday is a ceramic and surface pattern designer who produces decorative ceramic wares with distinctive surface pattern details and qualities. On Alex’s ceramic course learners will discover the process of slip casting using plaster moulds to cast a tealight/ pot. They then learn how to fettle and clean up pieces followed by a variety of surface decoration techniques including glazing. There is also the opportunity to design and develop surface transfers that will be printed ready to use on the final pieces.

Libby Ward works with natural materials and found items using chemical processes such as etching and patination to create unusual and eye-catching biological pieces of jewellery. Her range consists of brooches, rings, and necklaces all combined with precious metals. Libby is offering a course for beginners’ or people who have had a little taste of metal and would like to improve their skill set.
In this workshop participants learn how to saw pierce, how to add texture to metal surface, learn how to dome and press form metal, silver solder, polish and finish with your very our handmade silver ring.

Jasmine Simpson’s work captures the power and beauty of animals through painting and sculpture. She sculpts and plaster casts her forms from scratch. She then casts them in earthenware clay slip before applying her own signature painting style. Over the 6 weeks participants on Jasmine’s course will be introduced to sculpting and hand building techniques, learn about different clays and materials and how to realise their concepts into clay.

Sarah Nadin, Marketing Manager at Middleport Pottery said: “Stoke-on-Trent is currently undergoing a huge cultural revival and the artists based at Middleport have been acclaimed nationally as some of the UK’s best emerging talent. For them to be able to share their knowledge on these short courses is an amazing opportunity for anybody with an interest in developing their own creative flair. We are also keen to build on the interest in the area that the Great Pottery Throw Down has created and want to encourage more people to get involved and get creating.”

The workshops take place every Wednesday evening from 6.30pm to 8pm from September 13th and cost between £210 and £250 per place including all tuition and materials. Places can be booked by emailing or by telephoning 01782 499 766.

The Middleport experience includes a visitor centre with original Victorian offices, an enormous bottle kiln – one of few remaining – and Europe’s largest collection of ceramic moulds, along with the Middleport Studios and Burleigh Factory Shop. The centre is open from 10am until 4pm daily. The Middleport factory tour gives visitors the unique opportunity to see pottery produced from start to finish using techniques dating back to the 1880s. Tours can be can be pre-booked via the website at

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