Afternoon workshop in October! HANDBUILDING with Clay

Saturday 14 October 2017. From 2.00 till 5.00.Get hands on with clay.Try out pottery and ceramics for an afternoon. This is a great opportunity for adult beginners and improvers to develop new making skills in the friendly and informal atmosphere of Atelier La Tour des Bidoux.

You will be shown handbuilding techniques:slab, coil, surface texture, sgraffito, curving and sculpting. Then using one or more of these techniques hand build your own pottery item or sculptural piece. Students are encouraged to bring their own ideas and projects like plates, vases, trays. coasters, bowls, planters, garlic jars, lanterns, sculptures, animals etc. No experience needed. Jessie who has 25 years of teaching experience, will guide you to realise your project. All materials such as clay,pigments,oxides,tools as well as 2 firings of your creation is included as well as aea/coffee, cake. Price E 30

Only 4 places available for each workshop. Please contact Jessie to book your place in advance and get further details on the homepage under contact https:/


la Tour des Bidoux in the distance

la Tour des Bidoux in the distance

Veranda in front of the studio

Veranda in front of the studio

If you live in the Dordogne or on holiday for a while there are ongoing ceramics/pottery courses available which can be presented in English, Dutch or French as requested by the students. (For people who want to come for a pottery/ceramic holiday please scroll to the end of this page under point no.3)

Margaret drawing at Atelier La Tor des Bidoux

Whether you are a beginner starting to work with clay or an experienced ceramicist, you could work under the guidance of  artist Jessie Mooy who has 25 years of teaching experience and has been working for 35 yrs as an international artist.

If you are a beginner you use the most common techniques in crafts and modeling by hand. People who are advanced, doing their own project, for example they could build a sculpture under the direction of the artist.

The structure of the course for beginners is as follows:

  • Basics: sculpting with clay, basic shapes, making a pinch pot
  • build with clay coils
  • Building with clay plates and work with a simple mold
  • Working in relief
  • Decorate your own work

The courses are designed for people who want to learn under the personal guidance of a professional artist in her own studio. The aim of the course as a whole is to develop a sense of spatial perception for personal images. By putting the emphasis on advancing your own concepts and deepen your own images.  Only small groups of no more than 3 or 4 and intensive supervision.  Ceramics are usually fired every week followed by a discussion of the results. The lessons take place from Monday to Friday 9.30 to 13.00.

Atelier La Tour des Bidoux . Students decorating their creations with under glaze pigments. From left to right Loes, Jeanette and Carla from the Netherlands .

Huibrecht Kranse-at-work-on-his-clay-sculpture

Huibrecht Kranse-at-work-on-his-clay-sculpture

Saskia Hofman at work on her ceramic sculpture at Les Bidoux.

Saskia Hofman at work on her ceramic sculpture at Les Bidoux.


Marianne and Nadia in May 2014

Marianne and Nadia from the Netherlands  in May 2014


Above Dee Gardner sculpting the head of her daughter Jess also in the photo. 2016


Sphia (5) and Mikey (7) learning to make a pinch pot 2017


Above Max Gardner (13) sculpting a mask of a lion. 2016


Sophia 5 years old. busy making and decoraating a plate from a slab. \march 2017

Elisabeth making a teapot from slabs and coils

Elisabeth from Denmark. making a teapot from slabs and coils with Mette in the background making a coil pot. 2015

Atelier La Tour des Bidoux. France

Sophie from the UK sculpting an owl candle holder, 2015  and Below her brother Adam Gardner in 2016 busy with his decorative plate modelled en relief

Adam Gardner 2016

Courses are designed for beginners as well as advanced individuals who would like to be under the personal guidance of a professional artist and qualified teacher with 25 years experience in teaching. The aim of the course as a whole is to progress from an idea of perception and to arrive at spatial images with a personal signature. Beginners get explanations about tools, materials, techniques and modeling clay. When advanced, the emphasis is on developing your own concepts and deepen your own imagery. You learn to sculpt in clay.

During these lessons you will learn the basics about clay and ceramics.  Ultimately you create a self-guided work. This work will be based on your own concept and level of knowledge in this field. Then you decorate your work. For most decorative techniques, your work has to be bisque fired first. This is certainly so if you want to work with glaze, making it a nice smooth and it gets a waterproof layer.  The reason is that both clay and glaze shrink during drying and firing. Glaze shrinks much less than clay, so if your workpiece is glazed in the first firing , there is a  chance that the glaze does not vitrify and falls off.
If you want to use some decorative techniques, you can do so while the clay is still wet using oxides and/or pigments if there is time or carry on during the second lesson with this. If you would like to work with glaze, learn more about ceramics or modelling and various basic techniques, then I suggest you take the Weekly ceramics half day lessons below.

If you want to see student work and more info on Atelier La Tour des Bidoux click on the following link

The following courses are available: 

1.Weekly ceramics half day lessons

This includes handbuilding and modelling clay.  You then decorate your work with slip, pigments or oxides. After the bisque firing it gets fired a second time for the glaze firing

In your first month you make and decorate plates, decorated tiles, pinch bowls and simple sculptures using various techniques, no experience is needed.  If you are more advanced Jessie will help you along with your own ideas.

Course Times: weekdays from 9.30 to 1.00.  Lessons include pigments, oxides, glazes and firing.  Clay costs about €3.00 per kilo(cost price). 3 or 5 kilo’s is enough for this course.  Only the best clay for hand building is used. These lessons are €25 per morning including 2 firings for each item you make, tea and coffee.  All all materials are included except clay.  Most students come once a week for a couple of months or even years, but if you only want to take 4 lessons for one month,  you can. For weekly students, if there are 5 mornings in the month for that month, you will have to pay €125.oo. Courses are payable monthly in advance after the first lesson.

2. Ceramic full day workshops. You can choose the day/s that suit you. Only for 2 or more individuals. Not more than 4.

Lunch is included for the day.Price €65 includes all materials, including clay, underglazes, tools, firings. You will be able to make several items like bowls, plates, pinch pots or a small sculptures depending on your experience by using several handbuilding techniques mentioned above. Contact Jessie to book your day. At least 2 people per workshop. You could treat a friend to this workshop. Contact Jessie to buy a gift voucher for a special unforgettable creative day.

3. For people who want a holiday in the Dordogne combined with a ceramics workshop.

You can choose yourself which days you want to come .You work in the mornings and in the afternoon you do sightseeing. We live amongst castles, Romanesque Churches and other Romontic and historical sites.You can live with Jessie or in a private gite at my French neighbours .

This workshop is for beginners or more advanced students. As a beginner you will be making several works and you will use different techniques in handbuilding and modelling. You can make bowls, tiles, platters,sculptures. A combination of these or a bigger project that you have in mind and decorate these. All tools, underglaze colours, glazed etc included

The more advanced will be making sculptures or their own projects. You will be given help and advice by Jessie every step of the way.

The prices of the courses depend if you stay at Atelier La Tour des Bidoux or in a gite close by. The lessons will be in the mornings from 9.30 till 1.00. The afternoons you can do whatever you want. If you feel like working in the studio in the afternoon as well you are welcome. If you want to come with a person who is not interested in doing ceramics that is also possible. Prices are very reasonable. The courses can be adjusted to your needs.

For more info and your dates please mail Jessie. Copy and paste on your PC please.


Sarah Montagu

Sarah with her work after the weekly Wednesday course that she followed for 1 month. November 2014

Catherine Montagu

students July 2016

Hev, Louise and Joe at their day workshop in 2016



Christine Edwards

Christine with her first work Nov. 2014

Atelier La Tour des Bidoux side view
Atelier La Tour des Bidoux side view
Christine in 2017.

After 3 years Christine is making sculptures in 2017

Atelier La Tour des Bidoux

Les Bidoux,
24600 Riberac,

Tel: +33(0)553909138


Or contact Jessie Mooy incl. travel directions how to get to Atelier Les Bidoux.

Part of atelier
Part of atelier

Look at more student work on Facebook. Most are beginners. Click on photos and then the student work album.