beginners Course

(5-10 weeks)

2 March-5 April
13 April – 17 May
25 May- 29 June

78000+18%GST (including- course fee and all materials)
158000+18%GST (including- course fee and all materials, private room and all meals)

This course is designed for those who wish to learn pottery/ceramics and take it further as a profession or a serious hobby. It’s a full-time course, a thoughtful blend of technical guidance and artistic educational goals for students to bring up their skill levels.

COURSE OUTLINE: The five-week beginners’ pottery course in Dharamkot studio is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the basic components required to work as a beginner ceramic/pottery artist. Throughout the course, you will have the opportunity to engage in various tasks and projects that will enhance your skills and knowledge in the field.


1. Techniques of Forming: You will learn both wheel throwing and hand-building techniques. Wheel throwing involves creating pottery on a spinning wheel, while hand-building focuses on shaping clay manually using different techniques such as coiling, slab building, and pinching.

2. Introduction to Production Techniques: A brief introduction will be provided on production techniques like Mould making. These methods are used for mass production of ceramic objects and involve creating Moulds and casting clay into them.

3. Understanding Glazes, Glazing, and Firing: This component introduces you to the basics of glazes, which are decorative coatings applied to pottery before firing. You will learn about different types of glazes, their application techniques, and the firing process necessary to achieve the desired results.

4. Understanding Design and Self-Expression: The course emphasizes the importance of design in pottery and explores possibilities for self-expression. You will learn about design principles, explore different artistic styles, and be encouraged to express your creativity through your ceramic creations.

COURSE STRUCTURE: In week one, you will be taught the techniques of wheel throwing, surface design and hand-building. Following the instruction, you will have ample practice time to hone your skills in these areas. One significant aspect of the curriculum is the flexibility it offers. After two weeks, you have the freedom to choose whether you want to focus on wheel throwing or hand-building.

COURSE OBJECTIVE: – By providing a comprehensive understanding of the fundamental techniques, production methods, glazing, firing, and design principles, this five-week pottery course aims to equip you with a solid foundation as a beginner ceramic/pottery artist. It allows you to explore different avenues of pottery and encourages your creative expression with clay.

TEACHING-LEARNING METHOD: The curriculum includes basic theory, demos, tasks, and mentor-mentee discussions over 6 working days. Each week, there are teaching sessions, guided practice, and self-practice sessions.
In the entire course you will use mid-range (cone 5-7) stoneware clay/ glazes in electric and gas-fired kilns.

OUTCOME AND IMPORTANT NOTES: Ceramics is a vast subject and learning pottery as a skill can be a slow process that requires dedication and single-mindedness.

  • 5 weeks of learning will create a basic understanding and confidence to pursue studio pottery. Do remember that what we do here will be to set you up on a path as a potter. You will further need a lot of practice and individual study to achieve your goal of becoming a professional artist/potter.

WORKING HOURS: 10am-5pm (6 days a week) Location – Studio-2 (art retreat centre)

HOW TO APPLY: To apply to this course write an email to manoj@dharamkotstudio.com

Attach- your CV/Resume/portfolioWrite- Which batch do you want to join, the type of stay you would take, about yourself, your motivation to join this course, about prior experience with clay (if any) or any kind of art. Your email will be reviewed and replied to within 3-5 days. There is no last date to join this course, admissions are on an availability basis.

Cancellation/rescheduling- The booking amount will be 30% of the total amount, which is non-refundable. Your course can be rescheduled in case of emergency.

Q- Do the courses run all year?
 Usually yes, but we only post 6 months schedule at a time and only those will be available to book.

Q- Are there other stay options near the studio, if I want to live outside the premises?
 There are many guest houses/ homestays around the studio (10-15 minutes walk). We can provide you with a list of possibilities with contact numbers on request during the admission process.

Q- Do I need to bring anything with me for the course? 
 No, you will provided with everything you need including materials, tools, aprons and hand towels.

Q- Can I start my own studio after this course? 
 Yes! You will have the potential to establish a basic studio, but it’s important to have high level of dedication, the ability to make an investment and natural inspiration. Many students who have completed the beginner’s course are successfully running their studios.

Q- Can I use the studio space after 5 weeks for more practice? If yes, what will be the charges? 
 Yes, you can however do remember that decisions will be made on the basis of availability. You will have to apply for it separately. The charges for the space will be 500/day. Do note that material/firing costs will be extra.

Q- What is the difference between pottery and ceramics ?
Ceramics is a modern term for pottery and is also an umbrella term for different kinds of clay like terracotta, stoneware, porcelain. Pottery is a part of ceramics. Ceramics can also refer to floor tiles, bricks, washbasins and countless other things which includes different compositions of clay and glass.

Q- Is there anything I need to know before I sign up for this course ? 
 This course includes long sitting hours and physical work. You need to be reasonable healthy and not have any physical/health issues.

Day 1 (Friday) - Today, you will arrive in the serene village of Dharamkot. We recommend you check-in to our Studio latest by 12PM, though checkin time is till 2PM.
After settling-in to your rooms, you will be served lunch at the cafeteria.
At 4 PM, you will start with your first workshop “An Introduction to Pottery”. This workshop will take about 2.5 to 3 hrs.
At night, you will indulge in dinner (possibly around a bonfire depending on weather) and then relax.
Day 2 (Saturday) - Today, you will start your day with a warm cup of tea & Nature Walk to Naddi. The trail meanders through the forests, offering stunning views of the valley below and the distant mountain ranges.
On returning, you will be served a sumptuous breakfast in our cafe.
At around 11 AM, you will head to the Studio for your second workshop. Today we will split the group in two batches for personalised attention to all participants. One group will attend the “Hand-building- pinching” workshop and the other will learn the “Intro to Pottery Wheel” workshop. Each workshop will take about 2.5 hrs.
Then you will break for lunch.
Post-lunch, you will take the second workshop from the above two, depending on what you did in the morning.
Wrap up your dinner at our cafe.
Day 3 (Sunday) - Today is a mix of learning and exploration!

After breakfast, you will attend the fourth workshop on “Texturing/Surface Decoration”.
Then after lunch, you will start your local sightseeing tour. Our expert local guides will take you to the Dalai Lama Temple, St. John’s in the Wilderness Church and the Mcleodganj Market. Take time to experience the spiritual energy of Dharamshala.
You can either return to the Studio with our guide in a cab which departs by 6 PM or stay longer and take a taxi back.
Dinner will be served in the evening but you can also explore one of the many restaurants/ bars in Mcleodganj.
Day 4 (Monday) - You will begin the day with yoga/meditation at one of the many renowned yoga studios in Dharamkot.

Then, head back to the Studio for breakfast and another day of pottery learning. You will now learn the advanced techniques in pottery making in your fifth and sixth art sessions.
We will again split the group in two batches for personalised attention to all participants. One group will attend the “Advanced Hand-building- Slab/coiling method” workshop and the other will learn the “Wheel Throwing/ Shaping Technique” workshop. Each workshop will take about 2.5 hrs.
Then you will break for lunch.
Post-lunch, you will take the second workshop from the above two, depending on what you did in the morning.
Wrap up your dinner at our cafe. By now you must have made friends with instructors and other participants, so we are sure you have some amazing conversations.
Day 5 (Tuesday) - You will begin the day with another session of yoga/meditation.
Then, head back to the Studio for breakfast. You will now attend the last and seventh art session on “ surface decoration with Coloured Under-Glazes”. The session will be of 2.5 hrs.
After lunch, you can spend the rest of the day at leisure. You can pick your favourite thing to do today…finish off your artwork with some guidance from our instructors, head out and take a hike, go shopping, spend a lazy day in a cafe, walk around the flag point for sunset…the choices are endless. We will see you back at the Studio at 7 PM for our farewell dinner.
Day 6 (Wednesday) - Today is the day we bid adieu! After breakfast, it’s time to pack up and gaze at the Dhauladhar range for one last time till we see you again. The check-out is at 11 AM.

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5 nights accommodationAirfare
All meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)Alcohol
Pottery Sessions Courier charges for shipping Art pieces you create
Half- Day tour to McleodgunjBank fee/ Money exchange fee/ Other payment charges
Nature walk, Yoga/Meditation SessionsLaundry
Art Supplies

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