Row of four Tree of Life ceramic vases, decorated with natural patterns and colours.

Take part in the LU Arts Tree of Life pottery weekend

Join LU Arts for a pottery weekend and make your very own Tree of Life.

Ceramics tutor Dee Barnes will guide you through the process of making your own Tree of Life. Working with earthenware clay, you will build using a combination of hand building techniques including coiling and pinching.

The creation of Trees of Life is part of the pottery and ceramic traditions of the central highlands of Mexico. Pottery in this area can be traced back to between 1800 and 1300 B.C. including clay figures. Modern forms include highly decorated candlesticks and candelabras.

This course will run from 10.30am-4pm on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 July. You must be able to commit to both days.

All materials including tools, clay, underglazes and glazes are included in the cost of this workshop. Some prior experience of working with clay is essential.

Book your place.

Day one:

Day one will include a demonstration of ideas, visual images and some facts about the origins of the Tree of Life in ceramic form, followed by the make. Dee will be on hand to guide and assist you with your project. By the end of the first day, you will have made a large-scale piece and applied a layer of slip.

Day two:

On day two Dee will demonstrate techniques such as slip trailing, sgraffito and the use of stencils. You will then go on to decorate your own pieces with guidance and support from Dee. At the end of day two you will have completed your piece which will then stay at the ceramics workshop whilst it is dried out, biscuit fired and glaze fired. LU Arts will contact you by email once your piece is ready for collection.

About the workshop leader

Dee Barnes is an experienced ceramicist, jeweller and tutor based in Grantham. After learning how to work with clay through the Adult Education Service in London in the 1980s, she has developed a distinctive practice centred around hand-building. She's since made jewellery for Grayson Perry exhibitions, run her own galleries, and continues to produce fine jewellery and ceramic pieces.


There is step-free access into the 3D Design Building. If you have any specific access requirements or anything you would like us to be aware of when running the event, please let us know via the booking form or email in advance of booking and we will do our best to accommodate them.