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  Coil and Throw Coloured Slip Decoration Demonstration Workshop
Bernard Kerr
Tuesday 28 February            1-6pm
at the Warrandyte Neighbourhood House
       168 Yarra St, Warrandyte 3113          $150


Seasonal Form B Kerr.50cm  40cmjpg.jpg

Form, Colour and Surface

Workshop Statement:


Coil and Throw: Throwing a Large Vessel combined with Resist Decoration using Coloured Slips
This workshop will enable participants to observe the Coil and Throw method of throwing a large pot. Suitable clay bodies will be discussed and the method will be demonstrated and explained step by step. The workshop will also cover how to use oxides and stains to make coloured slips and use a range of resist and sgraffito techniques to decorate ceramics at the leather-hard stage.


Aims and Objectives:

The participants will:

  • .Observe the Coil and Throw technique in action

  •  Observe how to create coloured slips using both ceramic stains and oxides

  •  Develop knowledge and skills specific to the discipline of ceramics

  •  Deepen their understanding of the relationship between form surface and decoration

The participants will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the elements of the ceramics, including specialized language, concepts and processes

  • Demonstrate the acquisition of skills and techniques of ceramics based in throwing skills and making handles using a variety of techniques

  • Demonstrate the application of skills and techniques to create ceramic objects with handles that are aesthetic and pleasant to use.

Workshop Structure:

Tues 28th February: : 1.00 pm
Slide show: 15-30 minutes

  • Coil and Throw examples

  • The History of Coil and Throw

  • Coil and Throw in Western Australia

  • Slip Decoration examples

  • Resist techniques and layering of colour

  1. The Physics and Chemistry behind Coil and Throw

  2. Developing a Form

  3. Planning ahead

  4. Suitable Clay Bodies

  5. Firing types and temperatures


Demonstration: 120 minutes  1.30- 3.30

  1. Throwing the base

  2. Using the gas torch or heat gun

  3. Extruding coils

  4. Attaching coils

  5. Throwing up and down: joining the coil

  6. Using ribs and steel kidneys to develop the form

  7. Using the ‘Throwmaster” (Bela’s Wheels)

  8. Adding coils and managing moisture

  9. Tricks and pitfalls

  10. Finishing the form.


Break 15 minutes:

Discussion about Ceramic Forms and integrating decoration 3.45-4.00
Decorating using layered coloured slips.4.00-6.00 pm
Making coloured Slip: Percentages and Methods

  1. Oxides and slip

  2. Stains and slip

  3. Thickening slip

  4. Layering slip


  1. Mixing slip using inclusion stains and or oxides

  2. Paper stencils, carving and layering slip

  3. Cutting stencils

  4. Applying stencils

  5. Layering and blending coloured slips

  6. Sgraffitto


Workshop conclusion: Debrief and reflection

Bernard Kerr is our guest artist from Perth at the Pottery Expo this year. A maker, teacher and convenor of the Australian Ceramics Triennale to be held in Fremantle in 2025.

For further information about the workshop contact: Jane Annois 0422942216


                                                         Bernard Kerr Biography
                                                       My work is diverse and eclectic. I use surfaces and imagery that are inspired by the natural                                                                      physical environment.  The indigenous flora and the ancient eroded landscape of Western                                                                       Australia inspire my vessel forms, which seek to express a unique Australian quality, whilst  I                                                                 also produce ‘ceramic collage’ pieces that reference traditional landscape painting in a craft                                                                   medium.  The ‘still-life’ works on the other hand, refer to histories of domesticity, the                                                                                 tradition of still-life painting and its associated symbolism.



Bernard Kerr completed his Master of Visual Arts from Curtin University in 1994, and has an extensive background in lecturing at a tertiary level and secondary school teaching and has been on the Syllabus Committee for TEE art and Chief marker at the Curriculum Council for many years. He currently holds the position of Curriculum Leader for the Arts at Scotch College in Swanbourne and has developed a new Ceramics course for Middle School students in Ceramics. He has delivered conference papers at National Ceramics Conferences since 1992 and co-ordinated the 9th Conference ‘EDGE’ in Perth in 1999. His work is featured in a number of international publications, the most recent of which is “500 Vases” , published by Lark Books in 2011. He has also published several international journal articles concerning Western Australian ceramics alongside regular participation in group exhibitions and his work is held in a number of government, private and corporate collections .


Bernard in Studio.jpeg
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