Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop

Course Images

Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop
Saggar, Barrel & Raku Firing Workshop

Booking options



April 2024
  1. Delivered In-Person in ExeterNo spaces left
  2. Delivered In-Person in ExeterOnly 4 spaces left
  3. Delivered In-Person in Exeter



  • PRICE £335

    Join us for a two-day intensive firing course at Abi Higgins Ceramics' studio in Christow, Devon, led by Abi Higgins and Alison West. Discover the art of saggar, barrel, and raku firings, immersing yourself in hands-on experiences. The picturesque village of Christow, located on the eastern edge of Dartmoor National Park, sets the stage for this creative journey with easy access to Exeter.

    Explore the Raku technique, rooted in Japanese traditions, known for producing captivating effects in ceramics. Dive into the low-temperature, fast-firing process, involving the removal of pottery at bright red heat and placing it in containers with combustible materials for unique results.

    Saggar Firing, originally designed to protect wares in wood firings, now captures fumes around pots to enhance color and pattern. Barrel Firing offers an alternative with high temperatures, allowing for vibrant colors using oxides, carbonates, and copper wire in a steel barrel.

    Throughout the weekend, you'll:

    • Learn alternative techniques for preparing pots for firing.
    • Gain hands-on experience with gas-fired raku kilns, 'mummy' saggars, and barrel kilns.
    • Explore resist techniques, copper wash application, sacrificial glaze (naked raku), reduction glazes, and burnishing advice.
    • Discover horsehair/feather firing.

    Benefit from the guidance of two experienced instructors, ensuring plenty of help and advice. Optionally, bisque fired pots can be provided for £10 each, or bring your own masterpieces.

     The total cost for two days, including materials and food/drinks, is £335. Don't miss this opportunity to delve into the fascinating world of ceramics. 

    For more information, visit and


    Couses are held at Christow Pottery in  Devon. Christow village is set high in the Teign Valley close to the Kennick and Tottiford reservoirs and has breathtaking countryside all around. It is a former mining area - tin, sliver, copper and manganese all mined locally. There is a church (with a notable granite tower), pub, post office, local shops, and accommodation. The Cantonteign falls are close by.  


    The Hutch and The Burrow Devon 


    Ali Chadwick  St John House  Trusham TQ13 0NR  01626 854385    


    Kennick Barn   Kennick Barn, Christow, Exeter EX6 7NZ 

    Georgina Heart. -

     01392759865 or 07734913984

    Jo at Twelvetrees
    The Old Barn, Dry Lane, Christow Devon EX6 7PF
    07837 988619.      01647 253373


    HYNER FARM - Christow.
    01647 252 923

    KENNICK SAWMILL - Christow.
    01647 252827

    SHUTE COTTAGE - Doddiscombsleigh
    01647 252 316

    THE NOBODY INN – Doddiscombleigh
    01647 252 394

    The Artichoke Inn -  Christow BAKEHOUSE HIGHER ASHTON - Air BnB


    Terry - The course was absolutely wonderful. Abi and Alison were so kind and generous with their time, their hospitality and sharing their knowledge and skills. We were all able to produce some fabulous results thanks to how hard they worked to ensure that the course was great fun, successful and safe. I have already recommended it to a number of people. My partner bought me the gift of the course for my birthday and it was the best gift ever. I learned so much too. Thank you so much Abi and Alison."

    Stephen Williams - I learnt loads on this enjoyable course about raku, barrel and saggar firing methods, not least because not everything was predictable.
    Thanks to Alison and Abi, I now feel confident to try these myself and experiment till I find my own preferences.
    I'm experienced in other forms of pottery and am very glad I've added to my knowledge through this course. 

    Lee Cox - Beautiful setting, delicious food, two very experienced inspirational potters and teachers, relaxed informal atmosphere. Each of us prepared pots for saggar, barrel and raku firings carried out over the weekend, with practical info about safety, firing methods, kilns, glazes , colouring effects , cleaning and finishing pots ,
    It was exciting and dramatic , strongly recommended..

    Maggie O'Connor - I was really impressed by this course. It was packed with information, activity and comprehensively covered the really interesting art of raku and saggar firing. Alison and Abi were helpful and encouraging at all times managing to spread themselves around a group of 7 very well . A huge amount of effort must have been put into running everything including the delicious food. The setting was in the beautiful Devon countryside which for an urban dweller was very enjoyable. I would highly recommend this course and hope to return again next year.

    Kate Reddy - Thank you Abi and Alison for a great weekend it was fascinating to see how the different firings came out! I'm feeling inspired to try barrel firing. The food was absolutely DELICIOUS 😋

    Matt - Hi guys! Firstly can I just say thank you so so much to Alison & Abigail! This weekend was everything I had hoped it would be and more! Thank you for opening up the world of firing for me, and for inviting us into your beautiful house & garden, and feeding us exceptional yum food too! Xxx

    Susie Parr - Together with three friends, I recently participated in this workshop in the beautiful Devon village of Christow. Despite our different skill levels (from professional potter to evening class enthusiast) we all really enjoyed the workshop and learned an enormous amount about alternative firing techniques. Abi and Alison engaged with each of us at exactly the right level and were encouraging and helpful to the more tentative members of our group. Despite being - importantly – very safety conscious, they both clearly enjoyed the fun, drama and surprise of these different techniques, as did we. 

    Alison Strivens - Fantastic.
    Everything is well explained, questions answered knowledgeably. These ladies know their stuff. Thoroughly enjoyed my time at The Mill. Food was fantastic.
    Looking forward to seeing the results of our efforts. Highly recommend this course.

    Helga Lára Haraldsdóttir - Thanks to Abi and Alison.The course was certainly worth coming to England to from Iceland. I have taken with me a lot of information on saggar and barrel firing. Everybody on the course produced interesting work and I am certainly happy with my 12 pieces I managed to take back to Iceland in my hand luggage.
    Well done you two, you have impressed and inspired me with your talent and professionalism. The lunches, the environment in lovely Devon and the group of people were also fantastic.

    What a busy, fun packed weekend we've had! Lovely setting and great guidance in the techniques of Saggar, Barrel and Raku firing. It was amazing to learn, experience and reveal the effects from the different firings and be surrounded by lovely people sharing a love of ceramics.
    Wonderful food, beautiful surroundings and knowledgable fun hosts too!
    Highly recommended if you're visiting Devon or a local pottery enthusiast, don't just take my word for your place now!

    Such a great weekend learning under the instruction of Abi and Alison. Our group was an eclectic mix of professional potters, enthusiasts and in my case beginners. It just suited everyone!

    Simon Ford - The skills we were able to take away with us are simply amazing, I had no idea I was to learn so much in a matter of days. The excitement when the finished product is revealed was just another aspect of the weekend I was not expecting.
    “Well done guys”! Just a beautifully designed and executed course that would suit anyone and the homemade lunches were to die for!

    Sue -Hi Abi and Alison, Just to thank you both for such an informative and wonderful course at the weekend.  It was just so nice to get away and meet like minded people since being a potter can be a lonely profession.  I came away on a high determined to get back in the studio again but of course that will have to wait until after I get back from my holiday and with this weather it can't come soon enough!

    Good luck with the next course.

    Sue x

    Martina - Dear Abi and Alison

    I just wanted to thank you for the great workshop last week-end. I really enjoyed myself and learnt a lot. You are both very good teachers and the group was really nice. Although I haven't done any pottery myself yet (!), I am very motivated now to try. The pots I decorated are lovely - Mike was most impressed. I still have to polish them so that I can take some pictures and send them off to my friends.Attached are some photographs that I took over the week-end. Please keep me posted on any future workshops that you might do! Thanks again and all the best

     Geoff -Dear Alison and Abi

    This is to thank you and say how much I enjoyed the 2 day workshop and that I learned a huge amount, which I hope will allow me to produce some more nice pots in the future.

    Sorry for the delay in replying but the day after I got back my very first-ever ceramics exhibition started in a local gallery, which I am sharing with two local artists   It is going pretty well and I have already sold two of the nicest pieces that I made with you at Christow...

    My second time doing this workshop. Not that I didn’t learn anything two years ago, it was just that it was so good the first time I was determined to return and introduce a friend of mine who was just beginning her pottery “adventure”. I can only say it was even better the second time around - and on top of everything we were blessed with lovely weather.

    Abi and Alison are not only knowledgable and experienced in their craft but are friendly and patient and always engaging. They had made strenuous efforts to keep everybody safe in these strange viral times and to put everybody at ease.
    The whole two days were a joy. Exciting, and inspirational. It’s given me so much more confidence now, to improve on the techniques and skills learned and to advance with a raku kiln of my own. I cannot recommend the experience too highly.
    No doubt I will be back for another ‘booster’ session in the not too distant future. It’s worth it for the food alone! 

course image


  • Delivered In-Person

  • All levels


The Mill, Christow, EX6 7LX, United Kingdom, Exeter

About Alison and Abi Firing Workshops

Alison and Abi Firing Workshops
Alison and Abi Firing Workshops

Alison West and Abi Higgins have been running Saggar, Barrel and Raku Firing workshops since 2018.  Our participants have come from the UK,  Europe and as far as Australia to participate in these alternative firing techniques.  The workshops take place in Abi Higgins' beautiful rural studio and grounds in  Christow, Devon, South West UK with good access to Exeter with an airport and train station. A  range of local B&B's and other accommodation is close by. 

The two day workshops are intended for all ceramicists with  limited or no previous knowledge of alternative firing techniques  and  those who have experience but would like to learn more about different techniques. The two day workshop will cover types of clay body used for alternative firings, making techniques, raku glaze application and firing, burnishing  and an introduction to two-step naked raku. We also include a horsehair/feather  firing and you will make and fire a 'mummy' saggar as well as preparing pots for a saggar firing with plant decoration. We will load and fire a barrel kiln . Participants would need to bring suitable bisqued pieces - either sculptural or vessel forms but we will have prepared pots for sale at £7 each.  Information on types of clay to use and bisque temperatures will be provided with booking confirmation. Our  focus is on decorating for alternative firing techniques and introduction to firing and gaining confidence with raku and saggar kilns. 

Read more about Alison and Abi Firing Workshops

Covid-19 Notice

Most of the workshop takes place outside and weather permitting, we eat outside. We will allow extra space between participants should it be necessary.


5.0·4 Reviews

Material Covered
Resources Provided
+ Add Review