40A-2025 – Rachel Wood – The Infinite Vessel

September 28 – October 4 2025
A vital approach to coiling, pinching and surface decoration
Handbuilding. For all 
40A-2025 – Rachel Wood – The Infinite Vessel

Introduction

The infinite vessel will refresh, revitalise and deepen your connection with the hand building techniques of pinching and coiling. Using an experimental approach, you will be able to gain confidence, develop competent skills and befriend your clay! Furthermore, you will  learn and apply surface decoration and mark making techniques to add vitality and life to your work, so that the natural qualities of the clay. Your Tuscan experience, undertaken during the marvelous and colorful fall season will come shining through.

Techniques taught

The course will begin with the fundamentals of coiling and pinching techniques. Then,  through playful experiments and some group work we will explore the physical qualities of the clay, appreciate it strengths, and exploit its limitations. In fact, using an investigative approach, we shall also experiment with surface treatment through the application of slips and glaze to build layer and depth to your work. Your own handmade tiles will be perfect for this in order to get speedy results through the test kiln, the results of which will inform the larger pieces made and fired later in the week.

Teaching Method

In the infinite vessel, students will be continually encouraged and supported on an individual basis to help them translate introductory experiments into larger pieces. There will also be a slide show presentation one evening about Rachel’s own work, inspirations and philosophy to making.

Logistics

On every classday, a delicious meal will be served. At booking, you may select your preferred room type, choosing between standard lodging, single room and/or upgraded accommodation. Please note that depending on the availability, certain types at times may not be offered.The workshop is suitable for all levels. Please note: The kiln  opening will be saturday morning at 8 am. Therefore plan your travels accordingly, without needing to leave at La Meridiana before 8.30 am.

The Artist

Rachel Wood studied ceramics at Loughborough College of Art and Design. Rachel was also assistant to the potter Robin Welch, and has completed several residencies including at Rufford Craft Centre, Sturt Craft Centre, Australia, and Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Centre, Denmark. She now teaches and exhibits extensively in the UK, Germany, Netherlands, France and Australia. Her work is found in private and public collections. She says of herself: “I am inspired by the world around me…the colours, shapes and the textures of the landscape. I want each pot to convey its own spirit and character…to have a pulse and a heartbeat. I want the marks to reflect the journey of exploration and learning in each pot, just as a wrinkle or dimple depicts expression and character in a human face.” www.rachelwoodceramics.co.uk

Artist:

Rachel Wood

Date:

Sunday September 28 (arrival) – Saturday October 4 (departure) 2025

Length of course

5 working days in the studio

Technique

Handbuilding

Level

For all levels

Workshop fee:

Euro 1700

Deposit for booking:

Euro 500

Bookings for the 2025 Courses open on June 1st 2024

Philosophy

“What does it mean for a painter to use one artist’s style or another? You have to paint like someone else…. But you make a mess of everything. And it’s when you make a mess of everything that you are yourself.”

— Pablo Picasso

Picasso’s quote immediately struck a chord with me as a student at Loughborough College of Art & Design when I was eagerly searching for that elusive way forward. Adopting my newfound philosophy, I let myself bond with the clay, relax with it, experiment, and take the pressure off for that bitter-sweet approval either from peers or tutors. I learnt to stop trying too hard.

The more I made, both at college and the years after, I realised this quote also applies to the challenges in life, and is not just limited to creative struggles. It’s how we assemble everything that happens, and make sense of what we have, which builds the intrinsic creative essence.

Additional information

The workshop fee includes the following:
Tuition of 6 – 8 hours per day;
Studio open 11 hours per day;
All materials and firings;
Freshly prepared three course lunch with wine on all working days;
Welcome breakfast, Welcome and Final dinner;
Coffee break in the mornings and in the evenings.

Lodging

The costs listed include both: the workshop fee and the lodging. 

Standard accommodation in shared double room, at 15 minutes walking distance from La Meridiana – Final course cost: Euro 1950
Standard accommodation in single room, at 15 minutes walking distance from La Meridiana – Final course cost: Euro 2200
Upgraded accommodation in shared double room with use of swimming pool, 8 minutes walking distance from La Meridiana : Final course cost Euro 2150
Upgraded accommodation in single room with use of swimming pool, 8 minutes walking distance from La Meridiana: Final course cost: Euro 2330
Private appartment on the grounds of La Meridiana with one bedroom, kitchen, bath and outdoor space. Final course cost: Euro 2400
Course without lodging Euro 1700

Payment and Refund Policy

A deposit is required at registration. After submitting the registration form, you may proceed with the payment on-line. If you choose to pay by bank transfer, the registration will be confirmed once the deposit has been accredited in our banking account. The balance must be paid at the beginning of the course.

 Cancellations
You may withdraw within 14 days of registration without incurring in any penalties and will have the deposit fully refunded.  No refund of deposits past 14 days of registration, pursuant to articles 53 and following of the Italian consumer legislation, in accordance with the EU consumer protection legislation. In the event of disputes, the competent court is Florence. If the workshop cannot be hold because of an insufficient number of students, the deposit will be fully reimbursed.
Force Majeure
Students must know that cancellations may occur due to events beyond our control (e.g. pandemic, civil disorder, medical or family issues of the instructor). In such case, La Meridiana reserves the right to offer a voucher for a different workshop of your choice. The voucher is valid for two years. The deposit will be transferred to the workshop of choice.