School of the Arts, English and Drama

About us

Hub 5: Stone, Heavy Metalwork and Ceramics

This hub allows users to create impressive three-dimensional objects using a range of processes supported by staff in the correct selection, expert handling and professional manipulation of materials. 

Ceramics Facilities

The School of the Arts has outstanding facilities for the manipulation, forming and firing of clay and other ceramic materials.

The ceramics workshop is extensive, and made up for a number of areas, including kilns, materials processing unit, main studio and a glaze lab.

Students and staff have previously used these facilities to create award winning projects, including pottery, ceramic kitchenware, vases, ornamental sculptures and more.



Main studio

A substantial amount of time and work is spent by our staff and students in the main ceramics studio. This space is equipped with the following specialist facilities:

  • 8 x substantial work tables
  • 12 x potters wheels for forming clay
  • Jigger/Jolley machine for the mass production of both flat and hollow wares
  • 100 litre slip casting blunger with draining bench

Materials processing

We have the following facilities to enable materials processing:

  • Slab roller for the preparation of large clay slabs
  • 2 x dough mixers for bespoke clay body production and to mix clays and slips
  • 3 x pug mills for clay preparation, mixing clay and extruding shapes
  • Plaster bed for clay reclamation
  • Extracted materials preparation facilities
  • Flexible internal making space for production of large scale work
  • 200 litre clay blunger
  • 2 Jar ball mill

Indoor Kilns 

The ceramics workshop has a range of kilns, including:

  • 2 x gas kilns
  • 5 x electric test kilns
  • 4 x large electric kilns (95 x 80 x 60 cm)
  • Rasu kiln
  • Assortment of refractory bricks for the building of experimental firing structures
  • 200Cu/ft Anagama wood fired kiln

Kiln yard

Our outside kiln building yard offers a flexible space where staff and students can build kilns and alternative firing structures to fit their needs. This allows a larger scope for creativity, as users are not constricted by the size of their projects

  • Kiln building yard with flexible gas burners capable of heating 30 cu/ft kiln to 1300C

Glaze lab

Our glaze lab is an area where users can mix and test glazes, clays, engobes and slips.

The space comes equipped with:

  • Large double extraction booth for the spraying of ceramic glazes and slips
  • Large mixing table for glaze and slip preparation and testing
  • Portable wet glaze mixing drill
  • 2 x extracted weighing scales
  • Dedicated extraction
  • Spray booth 
  • Ball mill

Mould Making

The School of the Arts has a dedicated mould making area, used by students and staff to manufacture plaster waste and piece moulds, and re-usable rubber moulds from Gelflex. 

The area offers the following equipment:

  • Vinyl melting tank with extraction
  • Large water tank for soaking moulds
  • Wax bench for the manufacture of patterns for bronze or aluminium lost wax casting
  • Marble slab for melting and working wax
  • Facilities for the manufacture of flask moulds for lost wax casting
  • Large free standing melter for reusable moulding compound
  • Small bench top melter for reusable moulding
  • Compressed air supply thorughout workshop
  • Resin workshop with full LEV extraction and facilities for the casting and laminating of polyester resins. 

Castings can be taken from moulds in a range of materials, including:

  • Plaster
  • Wax
  • Concrete
  • Paper pulp
  • Silicon rubber
  • Jesmonite acrylic resin,
  • Lear casting resin
  • GRP

Plaster workshop

Once students have created a mould they can choose to create a plaster model from it in our plaster workshop.

This space offers the following equipment:

  • Full extracted space
  • 2 x bench top lathes for plaster model production
  • 3 x large lathes for plaster model production
  • 3 x plaster whirlers for plaster model production
  • Band saw
  • Plaster weighing booth
  • Large smooth concrete work table


Metal Construction Workshop

Our metal construction workshop is open to all of our staff and students. It offers a separate forging workshop and a range of metal working equipment, including:

  • Mobile oxy acetylene welding and cutting equipment
  • 3 Point oxy acetylene welding manifold system
  • Fire brick topped welding tables
  • Manual arc welding set with full local exhaust extraction
  • Miller TIG welding set
  • MIG welding set
  • TIG welding set
  • Spot welder
  • Treadle guillotine
  • Bench grinder
  • Bantham lathe
  • Power hacksaw
  • Gas powered forge with torch
  • Coke forge
  • Blacksmithing tools inclyding anvils, swage blocks, hammers, tongs, tops and bottom tools, etc
  • Polishing motor
  • A range of electric and air powered hand tools
  • Compressed air supply throughout the workshop