Slipware Decoration Weekend Course With Alice Hartford


A two day weekend workshop exploring contemporary slipware decorating techniques


SKU: RMP - 2WKND/SWAH Category:


Dates:  Saturday – Sunday 27th-28th April 2024

Times: 10.00am – 4.30pm

Class size: 7

Venue: Devon Applied Arts Workshop, Unit 3 Dunsmore Business Units, Dunsmore, Silverton, EX5 4DU.


A two day weekend workshop exploring contemporary slipware decorating techniques. During the weekend Alice will demonstrate and teach you about her process of decorating pots by painting with earthenware decorating slips.

You will be given premade tiles with which to experiment with the techniques demonstrated and also to make an 8 x 2 tile panel to your design. You will also have the chance to make and decorate your own plate or dish molded form.


Course Structure – Day 1

The day will start with a general introduction to Alice’s work and an explanation of some of the influences that have led to the development of her style.

Students will start by preparing the tiles and a plate / dish form to decorate and following Alice’s lead, experimenting with some basic techniques on some initial tiles to get a feel for the slips. You will explore how to achieve transparency and opacity using different brushes and consistency of slip as well as exploring how different types of brushstoke can give different results.

You will then be given time to discuss and develop ideas for your tile panel drawing out your design to scale, so you can plan how to add the colours in layers to achieve your intended outcome. During this part of the day you will also learn about paper stencils and how to use them to achieve different layering possibilities in your design.

Once started on a tile panel you will have time between applying layers of colour to prepare a dish or plate form from a mold to be decorated on day 2.

Day 2

Alice will start the day by describing the final stages of her decorating process and demonstrating the scraffito process. Having completed the majority of the slip decoration of the tile panel, following Alice’s instruction, students can practice on their early experiments and complete the scraffito on their panels. Lastly, you will have the chance to complete the decoration of your bowl or dish. During this time you will receive group and 1-1 supervision and guidance from Alice to help you complete your project.

What to bring

Just yourself, clothes that you don’t mind getting messy in. Sensible shoes or boots (no open-toed sandals please) are a very good idea and rings, nice watches and jewellery have been known to get covered or lost in the clay, so you might want to leave them at home.

What is included in the price

2 days of guided tuition. All tools, materials and firings included with the aim that you will be able to complete initial experiments, a tile panel and, if there is time, a plate or dish. Students are welcome to bring their own ideas to the course and ambition is welcomed, though there may be a further materials and firing charge, depending on scale.

Refreshments: Plenty of tea, coffee, biscuits, cake will be readily available! Please bring your own lunch.

A comment about the course.

“Rather late in writing to thank you so much for the fantastic course last w/e. Really enjoyed it and have come home inspired to do more. Busy making pots ready to decorate!!” – AM Oct 2022.

About Al

Alice trained at Edinburgh College of Art in Sculpture, graduating in 1999. On leaving art college Alice worked in sculpture & architectural restoration in London, and in making Scaglioli (architectural plaster work) in Devon.

She has been working with her partner Roop as RAMP (Roop and Al Make Pots) since 2001. Alice’s predominant role has been in developing the characteristic RAMP style of surface decoration. Together Al & Roop have exhibited widely at craft fairs and exhibitions across the UK. They are members of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen and the CPA (Craftsmen Potters Association of Great Britain).