At Forest Row School of Ceramics, our mission is to create a safe, communal space for all kinds of artists - beginners to professionals - to come together and express their creative sides. We believe in unlocking the creative within each and every one of us, and offer a wide range of classes for all students. Whether you’re a professional looking for new inspiration, a brand new student hoping to learn a thing or two about art, or if you’re simply interested in picking up a new hobby, Forest Row School of Ceramics is here to welcome you into the fold.
We are situated in the idyllic grounds of Emerson College who also offer a range of courses and accommodation
We aspire to develop a reputation of excellent training for the new generation
of potters at a time when many of the high-level ceramics course have closed or
become less specialised. We plan to offer more full time residential pottery courses to give artists the opportunity to intensively develop their practice to a professional level in their chosen ceramic field. We will help students discover their unique skills and talents through an intense, program with high standards that combine traditional skills, exploration and experimentation.
School Founder and Principal
Katrina Pechal BA (Hons) Ceramics
Lead Lecturer: Full Time/3 month/Residential/Ceramic Development Course
plus Weekly pottery classes for the local community.
Katrina graduated from Camberwell School of Arts with a BA Hons Degree in Ceramics in 1987 and set up her first studio in 1991. She is an accomplished potter selling her work internationally under her maiden name Pechal. She has always had a passion for clay and sharing her ceramic skills as a teacher, and has been teaching for over 25 years.
Katrina Pechal’s teaching specialism includes throwing large scale sculptural pieces, and working with glazes to develop highly textural surfaces. She has exhibited around the UK and has work used commercially and held in private collections. She has over 25 years of teaching experience in most ceramic disciplines and particularly enjoys introducing different firing techniques to her students encouraging them to explore the effects of the firing atmosphere on their work. She is very proud to have mentored and inspired many of her students to set up their own studios and has numerous award-winning pupils, especially successful in ‘ The Young Craftsman of the year award’ at The South of England Show in Ardingly.
1992 – 2004 Teaching at: Putney School of Art, Roehampton, Richmond, and Kingston Adult Education Centres in London, which included running 4 day Raku firing workshops regularly.
2007 – 2015 teaching intensive throwing classes courses and workshops from her studio at Highgate Works, Forest Row
January 2016 – relocated and opened Forest Row School Of Ceramics Introducing more classes, longer courses and weekend workshops run by practising contemporary potters.
"I am saddened that so many high level ceramic courses have closed. My time at Camberwell was inspiring. I feel very privileged to have had tuition from leading potters; Takeshi Yasuda, Colin Pearson and Ewen Henderson, among others and I want to give the next generation of potters similar opportunities."
Tanya Gomez CPA graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2010 with a masters degree in ceramics and glass
Where she developed her techniques of working with porcelain. Since then she has been establishing a growing reputation, from her base in Sussex, exhibiting internationally and working to commission Tanya has demonstrated and taught at various under and postgraduate faculties. This has involved workshops in throwing, coiling and slab building with guidance and tutorials; an introductory course into glazing and how to further results and how to run and maintain a ceramic studio.
She has a passion to teach and share my fifteen years of knowledge as a professional ceramist. When teaching, I find it extremely rewarding to see students working in such a diverse material, discovering for themselves there is endless learning and creativity to be achieved.
Jane Sarre PhD in curation, agency, identity construction and community engagement.
Jane Sarre is a ceramic artist sculptor she is a member of the Crafts Council Directory. Her work has been seen in 25 Beautiful Homes, Ceramic Review, The Independent, Emerging Potters, The Guardian, & Guardian Cook, Homes & Antiques and The Sunday Times.
Her fascination for places and energy for exploring overlooked areas remains led to a degree in Geography and then an MA in Museum Studies. A 15 year career in museums followed, specialising in exhibition interpretation and community engagement and subsequently completing a PhD in curation, agency, identity construction and community engagement. She opened her first pottery studio in 2012 and was initially drawn to master throwing and developed collections of contemporary tableware and serving ware.
A medically imposed break from throwing and a move to a larger private studio in Hastings has allowed the time to reflect and explore, allowing her growing fascination for edgeland places and the functional architecture there to lead a return to hand-building. She is now building abstract sculptural pieces informed by a process of walking, meditation, photography and collage. Her time spent searching for her own self expression and identity in her work lead her to want to help other artists to find their way and offers, from her website an online
'Envision your creative path' course which I highly recommend.
Peter McNamee - CPA
Peter trained in ceramics at Morley College in London under Duncan Hooson and Annette Welch. He set up his own studio in Iliffe Yard in London in 2009 making hand-built smoke-fired sculptural vessel forms. He became a selected member of the Craft Potters’ Association in 2010.
Peter has exhibited his work at the CPA gallery and at Hand Made in Britain. After moving from London to West Sussex, Peter changed his focus from hand-building to throwing on the wheel. He now makes tableware and one-off decorative pieces, often using glazes made with locally sourced wood ash. He has been teaching at the Forest Row School of Ceramics for the past two years and really enjoys helping students to achieve their making goals.
Maya Hughes Graduate from FRSC Ceramic Development Course
Maya has always been a naturally gifted artist and studied a variety of visual art subjects in school and college but it wasn't until afterwards that she found the medium which she most enjoys working with, clay! Starting pottery classes, one throwing with Katrina Pechal she fully immersed herself in the “wonders and endless possibilities in ceramics” as she put it.
Between 2017 – 2020 she completed a 3-year part-time apprenticeship with Ximena Heasman a local Potter. Learning how to run a small pottery business as well as getting that all important production throwing practice.
During that time, she continued her classes with Katrina, attended numerous weekend workshops run by well know potters, began working as a part-time ceramic technician and teaching assistant at Forest Row School of Ceramics.
When the school started offering the 3 Month, Full Time, Ceramic Development Course in 2018 she applied. She excelled on the course and since, with confidence, passion, talent and the know-how has set up her own studio, started selling, exhibiting, and teaching.
Her work has been recognised at the UK’s ‘Young Artisan of the Year Award’ achieving second place overall and first place in Ceramics 2019, competing with numerous other disciplines including woodwork, metalwork, textiles and design and technology.
You can see Maya’s ceramics on her Etsy shop and instagram
Elizabeth Moor BA hons Ceramics
Elizabeth trained at Camberwell School of Art (1986-89), achieving a BA Hons Degree in Ceramics, specialising in hand-built sculptural heads. Work and home-life kept her from pursuing a vocation as an artist. However in 2016 she started a weekly throwing class with Katrina Pechal at Highgate Works in Forest Row. She had not specialised in throwing whilst at Camberwell and wanted to try again. She learnt fast and soon became a competent thrower, staying with Katrina when she opened Forest Row School of Ceramics. Elizabeth started relief teaching for Katrina in 2019 and now runs two all-level throwing classes a week. She has also recently set up a studio in Lingfield, Surrey and intends to open an Etsy shop and start selling her work online.
Teaching The Beginners Hand-building Class every Monday.
Nikita studied Art and Design at Sussex Downs, and was taught Ceramics by Phil Andrews and Katrina Pechal. She has been teaching Hand-building for 3 years at the School, as well as developing her own work for 5 years.
A ceramicist in her own right working and exhibiting locally.
Debbie has always had an aptitude for art having painted and potted throughout her life. Being a geologist by profession she has an understanding for the qualities of clay and a fascination in how it can be manipulated on the potter’s wheel. She has been throwing pots for over 20 years, from evening classes and courses at West Dean to finally attending weekly throwing classes with Katrina first at Highgate Works and then Forest Row School of Ceramics when it opened in 2017. Debbie’s started relief teaching at the school in 2019 and now runs her own all levels throwing class once a week. We are very proud to have her on our team.
We also have a couple of enthusiastic young students who help out with technician work when needed.