Channel 4 Learning

The Mix: Handmade 2
Laurence McGowan - thrower and painter of pots
Programme Outline
Ideas to Try
History of Pottery
Curriculum Links
Learning Outcomes
Amanda Bevan - candle maker and decorator
Mikhail Dvornikov – woodcarver
Willard Wigan – model maker (light aircraft)
Diane Barnes – lino cutter and printmaker
John Gassom – cricket bat maker
Jyoti Taglani - henna artist
Micky Charalambous – maker of ballet shoes
Sarah Nagy – cake maker
Adam Madebe - sculptor
TV Transmissions
Print Version

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Laurence McGowan - thrower and painter of pots

Programme Outline

Laurence McGowan is the potter featured in this programme. We see him turn a jug on the wheel: the programme then focuses on Laurence’s painting techniques. He uses a very fluid style with simple bold brush strokes to create natural images – leaves, branches and birds on this occasion. Detail is left to the imagination and the colours are subtle tones. The programme highlights the speed and confidence of an expert in their craft. Below are listed the various stages needed to achieve this finished product, some of which are not shown in the programme.

  • Jug made or ‘thrown’ on wheel
  • Handle attached next day after some drying
  • Jug allowed to dry thoroughly
  • Jug fired in what is known as ‘biscuit’ or ‘bisque’ firing to 960° C
  • Still porous, when dipped in glaze the jug sucks up a coating which becomes a white glaze powder when dry
  • Jug painted at this stage – need for quick, confident work since very absorbent
  • After painting the jug goes back into kiln to be fired at 1260° C – the glaze powder melts and forms shiny white glaze with the painting incorporated within

This programme, of course, features only one aspect of Laurence’s work.