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potters wheel course participants at eastnor pottery herefordshiredisplay their wares

potters wheel course participants at eastnor pottery herefordshiredisplay their wares

We adore what we do and are extremely proud of our offering here at Eastnor Pottery & The Flying Potter. But what we really really appreciate is the love and positivity reciprocated in the brilliant 5 Star reviews left by customers – warms the cockles!!

“We had so much fun making pottery with Jon and Sarah – their communication before and during our session was outstanding, the equipment was spotless and efficient, we really couldn’t recommend this enough!” BETH

“Sarah was a brilliant teacher and I would definitely recommend this experience. Really impressed with how well social distancing was catered for also!” HANNAH

“My partner and I had a fantastic morning with Sarah and Jon! The 1.5hr session on the potting wheel was brilliant, we both had a great time and learnt so much! Jon and Sarah were so friendly and welcoming. We’d love to return for the day-long session! Great value, well worth booking!” VICTORIA

“Thank you for a wonderful honeymoon experience. Very relaxing and exciting to create something (albeit wonky!) something I would love to do again” EMMA

“Four of us went together with essentially zero experience of throwing pots. However, we were extremely excited to go and had high expectations. From the start, the experience far exceeded what any of us expected. The pottery studio itself was lovely and easy to find. There were great examples of the work Jon and Sarah had completed previously on the shelves as well as examples of what we could make during our time. Jon was friendly and extremely helpful throughout and took the time to get to know us and find out our competencies and expectations. He was patient throughout and tailored his advice to how well we were managing to cope. He remained friendly throughout with a good sense of humour. The pottery experience itself was technically great. We all noticed big improvements even in the time we had there. Afterwards we all were sure we’d want to do more throwing in the future. It’s a shame we don’t live nearby or we’d be going back for regular classes with Jon. Despite only having gone 4 weeks ago the pots are already in the post to us and we can’t wait to see how they’ve turned out. All in all, a perfect airBnB experience and excellent value for money.” AARON

potter's wheel course participant making pottery on the potter's wheel

 

 

 

family pose with their freshly thrown pots outside eastnor pottery

couple take a mini-moon honeymoon to make pottery at eastnor potteryreaching for the water on the potter's wheelintroduction to the potter's wheel participants at eastnor pottery

We’d just like to say a whopper THANK YOU to all our beautiful customers who visited us in this unprecedented and crazy year. Without a doubt, it’s been complicated and challenging doing anything in 2020, so you all deserve a medal, you really do!

From our socially distanced perspective, we’ve enjoyed working with each and everyone of you.  Even though we cant see those fabulous smiles behind the face coverings, we’ve felt the love and positive vibes.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Eastnor Pottery in 2021 and are forever grateful for your patronage and support. In the meantime, you can book your New Year pottery experience online or purchase gift vouchers anytime, day and night from our website.

emma collects tea pots so she made one on a pottery course at eastnor pottery in october 2020potter's wheel demonstration at eastnor potterypotters wheel weekend course at eastnor pottery

 

 

couple learn how to make a pot on the potter's wheel at eastnor pottery

pottery session documented as 1 second

Amy is a BIG fan of the ‘1 second everyday’ app which encourages users to document a second of each day as a micro video.

I wonder what will be the focus of today’s short film!

couple learn how to make a pot on the potter's wheel at eastnor pottery

 

Experience the potter's wheel vouchers

close up of clay covered hands on the potter's wheel at eastnor pottery

Why not treat those nearest to you this Christmas time to a creative experience they will never forget?

We offer gift vouchers for all our pottery experiences. Whether it’s our Clay modelling at £20, Introduction to the Potter’s Wheel at £40 or an immersive potter’s wheel day or weekend course at £150/£280, we have the pottery experience perfect for your gifting.

And don’t worry, things are so fluid and unpredictable at the moment be rest assured your Pottery Experience will be here ready and waiting for you…however long it takes!

You can purchase your vouchers right here online on our vouchers page.

introduction to the potter's wheel participants at eastnor potteryview from the steps at eastnor pottery in the autumn 2020potter's wheel demonstration at eastnor potterychild and mother making clay unicorn at countrytastic with eastnor potteryclay owl made on a pottery class at eastnor pottery in herefordshirepottery class participants socially distanced at eastnor pottery in herefordshiremother and son at eastnor potterymolly the hen proudly displays her pot made on the potter's wheel at eastnor pottery and the flying potter herefordshire

introduction to the potter's wheel participants at eastnor pottery

As we prepare to close our doors for the 2nd National Lockdown, we’d like to share this article commissioned by our valued partners Virgin Experience Days and penned by Kam Scott at The PHA Group

It succinctly records our experience of emerging from the 1st National Lockdown in July.

Jon Williams, 50, from Ledbury, Herefordshire set up Eastnor Pottery with his wife Sarah Monk, also 50, 26 years ago. Since then, they’ve been teaching the British public how to get to grips with a potter’s wheel and coach them through the process of clay throwing.

“It’s our baby”, Jon says, “What started out as a studio where Sarah and I made pots to be sold all over the world became our everything – a place where we could do what we loved and work with other people. We never factored in the possibility of our business being affected by a global pandemic – who does?!”

Like many other small businesses, COVID-19 threw the future of Eastnor Pottery into complete chaos. In total, Eastnor Pottery was closed for just over 15 weeks, from 17th March until 4th July. At one point, Jon was forced to start thinking about other work: “It was really concerning. I just couldn’t see how we could sustain what we do here. I seriously dabbled with the idea of becoming a postman to keep us afloat.”

pottery class participants socially distanced at eastnor pottery in herefordshire

Before COVID-19, Eastnor Pottery employed a core team of four people, increasing to seven in the summer months during Peak season. When lockdown hit, Jon and Sarah had to shrink the team right back to just the two of them: “The uncertainty of the situation was very unsettling. As a business owner you are responsible for the wellbeing of your staff. Having to shut up shop for three months meant there was no work for our employees. Luckily, we were able to access the furlough scheme and the government’s small business grant.”

Working with Virgin Experience Days meant that the team had a huge number of classes to put on hold. This really shone a light on some of the admin processes that needed revamping and in a bittersweet turn of events, lockdown allowed Jon and Sarah the time to address these issues: “I’m historically one of those people who will write myself a note and then find it two weeks later, Jon laughs, “Our admin system really needed updating and lockdown gave us the chance to regroup. We’re savvier and much more efficient now – we’ve set up an online system which has hugely streamlined our booking process.”

When the government announced easing of restrictions in England on 4th July, Jon and Sarah had to completely overhaul the way they ran their workshops. Due to social distancing guidelines, customers are no longer able to paint their pots – historically, a key element of Eastnor Pottery’s offering. Jon and Sarah were initially worried, but customer feedback has exceeded all expectations: “We’ve got people telling us that they love getting to spend so much time on the wheel. Before lockdown we hadn’t considered this as an offering, but once again, the circumstances have forced us to reflect and have ultimately allowed us to reshape our business for the better.”

Jon and Sarah have done everything to ensure any customers visiting feel as safe and comfortable as possible. Anyone attending a class must wear a mask and wash their hands as soon as they arrive. Jon and Sarah wear Perspex visors and strictly follow the two metre social distancing guidelines.

They’ve also had to cut down on the frequency of classes and currently there is limited capacity for the classes they do run. A typical Saturday pre-COVID-19 would have seen up to 40 people walking through Eastnor’s doors, but now Jon and Sarah welcome a maximum of 12. This allows for a deep clean to be done in between sessions.

However, Jon and Sarah try and look for the positives: “We just want everyone to be as safe as possible. We love meeting new people. Of course, limited capacity means we’re not making as much money, but look at it this way: our customers get an amazing one to one experience and we really get to know them. Our classes were brilliant before, but due to COVID-19, the quality has really shot up. Now they’re extra special.”

It also means Eastnor Pottery has been awarded the Visit England seal, so customers can rest in the knowledge that their safety is being taken seriously.

The pair are ecstatic to be fully booked for the next few months but are ever-conscious of the changing guidelines and potential future lockdowns: “To be honest, we weren’t sure how it would go. When we first reopened, we didn’t know if anyone would have the confidence to come. However, we’re experiencing a huge spike in popularity – it seems people are desperate to get out and do something exciting and creative. We’re not taking it for granted though, who knows what will happen in autumn and winter.”

The pandemic was unexpected, but the positive consequences for Jon and Sarah’s business as a result are even more so: “We feel quite buoyed up. The pandemic is a massive national tragedy, but lockdown has been positive for us. It’s given us a chance to reflect on the business and come back more streamlined than ever.”

participants at pottery course at eastnor potteryintroduction to the potter's wheel participants at eastnor potterypotter's wheel demonstration at eastnor pottery

three wheel thrown pots stuck together to make a daffodil vase