32-2023 – John Colbeck & Brian Dickenson – Stoneware and the Art of the Wheel

August 6 – 19 2023

A two weeks training on the wheel with an exceptional potter and educator.

Throwing. For all levels

32-2023 – John Colbeck & Brian Dickenson – Stoneware and the Art of the Wheel


Stoneware and the wheel: people throw, and always have, with a variety of intentions. Some focus on form and its surface, others focus on objects of function and yet others use thrown form as a support for graphic ideas. And then, often, these three interests may overlap.

Techniques taught

The central focus of the course is stoneware throwing, however, a related focus is the ways thrown objects may be finished. Each morning and afternoon session will begin with a demonstration to the group. Participants may then work in relation to those demonstrations or pursue their particular interests – in both cases with the attention and support of the teacher. The sequence of throwing demonstrations will cover a wide range of forms – from flat to spherical, from fluidly curvaceous to austerely angular and from simple to complex – and a range of scale, from small to large. Teapots, jugs and the simplest of forms will all be shown.

Teaching method

Our aim is that, within the framework of the course, the distinct needs of each participant will be met. Specifically, different interests and differing levels of experience will benefit through individual and group teaching.


The course will use a finely grogged throwing clay of excellent working qualities, evolved in a programme of experiment at La Meridiana. This clay is ideally suitable both for beginners and more fluent throwers. The sequence of demonstrations on surface and mark making processes will cover a range of possibilities using clay, slip and glaze. In the end, the work will be finished in the gas reduction kilns at 1285C (2345F) (Cone 10). Most of the dry work will be bisqued and a selection of this will be glazed and fired. The practical work of the course will be complemented by two illustrated talks about the variety of visual and material qualities evident in contemporary and historical ceramics, and by one illustrated technical talk on stoneware glazes and firing.


The workshop is open for all levels. On every classday, a delicious meal will be served and lodging is included in the cost as well.

The artists

John Colbeck has taught full and part time at Ceramics degree courses in the UK throughout his working life and was for many years Head of Ceramics at Bath Academy of Art and, in addition, has taught many short courses and given lectures and seminars in the UK and abroad. He is author of “Pottery, the Technique of Throwing” (1969), “Pottery, Techniques of Decoration” (1983) (both of these still available as Classic reprints from Axner Supplies USA) and “Pottery Materials” (1988). He produces unglazed, polished thrown forms in stoneware and porcelain. johncolbeck.com

Brian Dickenson attended the Throwers course at Derbyshire college of Higher Education and obtained a Research Diploma at  Cardiff Institute of Higher Education, focusing on composition and  firing of oriental glazes. He holds a MA ceramics Degree from Cardiff institute of Higher Education. He sais of himself:
”I spent time with my Mentor Philip Wood producing standard interspersed with work placements in Ireland, concentrating on raw production and repetition throwing. During this extended period of journeyman activity I spent considerable time working under Seth and Ara Cardew at the celebrated Wenford Bridge Pottery.  Since this time, I have established three potteries of my own over a 30 year period and am just embarking upon setting up the fourth. In addition to making a broad range of functional ware and one off pieces, I have developed a particular interest in kiln building. I have become involved increasingly in teaching ceramics and professional consultancy and as a regular lecturer at Clay College Stoke UK. I remain fascinated by all aspects of ceramics.” “I remain fascinated by all aspects of ceramics”



John Colbeck & Brian Dickenson


August 6 – 19 2023

Length of course

10 working days in the studio




For all levels

Total cost:

Euro 2600

Deposit for booking:

Euro 800,00


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 EU consumer protection legislation.
If La Meridiana cannot hold the course due to unforeseen events beyond our control, La Meridiana reserves the right to offer a voucher for a different course of your choice. The voucher is valid for two years. The deposit will be transferred to the new course.


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; single room on request at additional fee of 230 euros per week;
Shared kitchen facilities and shared bathroom.
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.


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.