39 – 2024 – Peter Montgomery & Lena Butschek – Fire, Form & Function

September 22 – October 5 2024

throwing and wood firing
some throwing experience required, wood firing experience not essential

39 – 2024 –  Peter Montgomery & Lena Butschek – Fire, Form & Function


In Fire, Form & Function, Peter and Lena will lead you through and intensive making session culminating in the firing of the train kiln. Through demonstration and discussion, they will share their insights into making functional, wheel thrown pots that are more likely to withstand the rigours of wood firing while taking advantage of all it has to offer.

Techniques taught

  • making functional pots with the potential challenges of wood firing in mind;
  • throwing, trimming, handle pulling and assembling forms;
  • preparing for a wood firing (wadding, cone packs, wood preparation, clamming clay);
  • strategies to increase your success rate in the train kiln (packing location, ashing and appropriate selection of glazes and clay bodies);
  • packing and reduction firing of the train kiln;

Teaching method

Fire, Form & Function is a  hands-on workshop, delivered as a making cycle in a nutshell. Peter and Lena will guide you through making at the wheel with wood firing in mind. The communal firing in the second half of the workshop will see you involved in every step of the process, from packing, to firing, as well as unloading the kiln. Finally, a joint analysis of the results will help you understand what did and didn’t work, and crucially, why.


A delicious mid day meal is included on all working days. Lodging is included in the course cost.

The Artists

Peter Montgomery and Lena Butschek work and live in Austria, where they established a workshop in 2020.

Peter is a potter from Belfast who makes functional porcelain tableware. His interest lies in ergonomic forms that are beautiful to look at and a pleasure to use. He first trained in wood firing with Nic Collins and Rob Barrron before working under Svend Bayer for three years. montgomeryporcelain.com

Lena makes functional stoneware that inspires daily use. Her designs aim to marry form and function in a beautiful yet useful object. Lena trained in diverse ceramic settings with potters in Italy, Japan, Scotland, Spain and England.



Peter Montgomery & Lena Butschek


Sunday September 22 (arrival) – Saturday October 5 (departure) 2024

Length of course

10 working days in the studio


Throwing, Wood and/or soda firing


For all levels, Some experience required

Total cost:

€ 3200

Deposit for booking

€ 900

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;
Lodging in shared double room in apartments of simple standard at maximum 15 minutes walking distance.
Single room and/or upgraded accommodation on request, at additional fee. All apartment types have shared kitchen and shared bathroom facilities. Please note that at times, not all room types may be available.
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.

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.

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.


La Meridiana is equipped to comply with the current safety standards regarding Covid-19, including social distancing between people in and outside the studio. The daily maintenance of hygiene measures is guaranteed.  Please note that participants will be required to follow the security protocol and to comply with some simple precautions.

At booking, you may choose your preferred room type but depending on the availability, certain types at times may not be offered.

Choose the accommodation you prefer: