The latest Workshop organised by the Friends of PSAD was held on the 22 October 2023. For student’s reviews scroll right down!

Photo album – click on first photo. Photos by Fleur Tookey and Nicole Hollingworth

Review by Susan Mark and Jane Howell, PSAD art students, on Rachel Mercer – Oil painting 

I attended my first Putney School of art one day workshop and was extremely impressed. Very well organised with everything set up and ready for us to start, a very warm welcome and plenty of refreshments. Out tutor Rachel found the perfect balance of instruction and guidance. I found that I had enough time to complete my painting and learnt a lot of new skills and techniques which I will apply to my regular evening class and more workshops! I highly recommend PDSA’s friends workshops and hope Rachel will be back soon as I would definitely book again!

With a limited oil palette and large brushes, size 8 the smallest, we tackled a very colourful still life, Rachel’s instructions were clear and she painted along side us which was helpful, she was always on hand to help and encourage, I joined the class because I liked her paintings especially the way she captured the energy of movement, catching a moment in time. I felt that I began to approach the subject in a freer and more confident in way, which I think was due to an excellent tutor and those large brushes!

Review by Nicole Hollingworth, PSAD pottery student and Friends Trustee, on Allan Manham – Ceramics

A big THANK YOU to Allan Manham for a wonderful and inspirational masterclass in hand building at PSAD on 22 October .

Having spent his working life as an illustrator and artists’ agent, Allan came to pottery quite by chance after his retirement. While signing up for various art classes at PSAD he decided to include a class in ceramics purely because ‘there was a space’. Allan has since become a highly regarded and collected professional potter, known for his exceptional hand built vessels that have a delicacy more usually associated with thrown forms. In their subtle elegance we can also see echoes of his African origins and his interest in ethnic and Korean pottery.

While those of us who took part already have hand building experience, Allan taught us how to finesse our work by demonstrating his own techniques and methods. This involved not only lots of scraping but also his particular way of gradually ‘building’ a vessel in the most effective way to achieve the desired shape and size. He was also most generous in allowing us to borrow from his vast collection of unusual tools, including cookie cutters, shoe horns and a melon ball scoop!

The beautiful colours of Allan’s pots are achieved not through glazing but by adding fine layers of colours slip to bone dry work before the firing process. Once pots have been through the kiln they are polished with a neutral wax or, sometimes, burnished with the aid of a lightbulb !

Most importantly, what Allan taught us was that hand building is really about finding your own way of ‘doing’ through experiment, trying new things and taking risks.

We can’t wait to get back to the studio after half term to practise our new found skills.

A big thanks too to our technician Leigh for all her help.

For any query you can contact us on email: . To Join the Friends click Here.