Welcome to a page of Frequently asked Questions about the Pop up Pottery, Any further queries please e-mail me
What are your Opening times?
In the Summer months ( Easter to October ) Monday to Saturday 10 – 5
Winter months, more flexible, best contact to check if making a special journey
How long have you been in this building ?
The Pop up Pottery started on a temporary basis Easter, 2015, initially one day a week, proving successful It became full time in 2016.
why ” Pop Up Pottery “?
Because it was just an experiment at first to make use of the Smithy building which was badly in need of some renovation work, It was planned to ‘Pop Up’ as an when required, when it became less temporary It was decided to keep the name and people could ” Pop Up ” to have a go. Also it is planned now to ” Pop Up ” in other locations during the winter and take the Pottery on the road!
Why “Balnacra Pottery” ?
My first Pottery studio was at the level crossing at a small village called ‘Balnacra’, this is the official trading name and stuck.
How much does a pottery class cost ?
See all the details of prices and rates HERE, I also do free or cheaper taster sessions throughout the year and will so occasional free sessions for children’s charities. If you’d like to sponsor one of these sessions please donate via Indiegogo HERE.
How do you book for a lesson or class ?
Simply pop into the studio and see me, or email, or PM via Facebook or Instagram Booking is recommended as in the summer I am usually fully booked a week ahead, also it takes time to clear up work in progress and prepare for classes so dropping in on the off chance will probably result in disappointment.
Is there an age limit for classes?
2 and 3 year olds will probably not get much out of the session and require help, 4 – 6 year olds generally enjoy an hour or so, 6 to 90 years old will generally enjoy longer sessions.
Can people with physical limitations or learning support needs do pottery sessions?
There is usually something for everyone to do, there are two potters wheels a sit on one and a pedal one which suit different people. Hand building techniques can be supported so that everyone will enjoy the experience. I have worked with all ages and abilities, clay work can be very therapeutic. If you’d like to discuss your support needs further please contact me. email
What do you do in the classes?
You can try the potters wheel and try a range of hand building techniques, rolling cutting, stamping, moulding- pinch pots, coil pots, thumb pots, and more !
What do I need to bring for a class?
old clothes are recommended as it is a messy business! I provide aprons, shirts and overalls. In cold weather wrap up warm as it is a drafty old building.
when will we get our finished Pots?
The pottery has to be dried completely before it’s first firing, this can take a couple of weeks depending on weather conditions, It then gets glazed and fired again, the whole process can take up to three weeks before you get your finished pottery.
do you do pottery painting ?
I don’t do the kind of pottery where the items are bought in then just painted with ready mixed colours. If you can come back and paint ( Glaze ) your own pottery when it has been first fired you can do the painting and learn about the oxides and glazing process. If you are on holiday and unable to come back, I finish the pots off for you and post them onto you – this is all included in the price.
How will I get my pottery?
When you do a pottery session I will take your contact details so I can post your pots to you when they are finished if you are in the UK this is included in the price- for international rates, these will be charged at cost. If you live locally or regularly pass by you can collect them in person.
Are you Open all year around?
Yes. In the summer I am sometimes away at Craft fairs or Markets. In the winter I may be working elsewhere. Contact if making a special journey to make sure I am Open.
Where do you get your clay?
There isn’t much local clay available due to the type of geology. Different types of clays are mixed by suppliers to provide consistent results at certain temperatures and for different purposes. I get mine from a Scottish supplier.
What temperature do you fire at ?
I will experiment with different techniques and glazes, for most of the pottery made by learners at pottery sessions I glaze to Earthenware temperatures at 1060C . I also occasionally do lower temperature sawdust smoke firing or “Raku” firings.
Where did you learn Pottery?
Although I specialised in Ceramics at Art College in Edinburgh. This course was more design focused, I didn’t learn more technical skills like kiln firing or throwing on a wheel until after college, where I was mostly self taught.
Where did you learn to Throw pots?
I am still learning after 30 + years ! It is not a skill which happens overnight, like learning a musical instrument it takes time and practice.
How long have you been a Potter?
I did a BAhons in Art and Design at Edinburgh College of Art where I specialised in Ceramics, I graduated in 1988. My first business was officially started 1995. I have had three different studio’s and many other jobs in and out of the arts since then.
Are you still painting and doing comics and illustration?
An arm injury has meant I haven’t been able to draw and paint in the way I was doing for the last couple of years. Luckily most pottery activities are still possible. Watch this space…
These are the questions I get asked most, anything else, please just ask !