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Inspiring CSM Short Course tutor Pascal Anson fronts the BBC Big Painting Challenge!

February 16, 2017 in courses, Meet our tutors

Central Saint Martins Short Course Interior Design tutor Pascal Anson is currently on our screens as a mentor on The Big Painting Challenge!

Pascal will be teaching our Interior Design Portfolio course this coming July.  For more information please visit the CSM Short Courses website.

Catch Pascal on your TV screens at 6pm on Sunday’s on BBC1!

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Ideas Are Your Only Currency

January 30, 2017 in courses, Meet our tutors

We are proud to announce the new book by Central Saint Martins short courses tutor Rod Judkins Ideas Are Your Only Currency. We chat to Rod about how his Short Course, 100 Design Projects, provided inspiration for the book and ask that burning question, can non-creatives really become creative?

You’re the author of The Art of Creative Thinking and Change your Mind: 57 ways to unlock your creative self. What was the inspiration behind your new book Ideas Are Your Only Currency, and how does it follow on from your two previous titles?

The inspiration for Ideas Are Your Only Currency was my Central Saint Martins short course called 100 Design Projects. Over many years of teaching art and design at UAL, I noticed the students that lasted and prospered after they left were the ‘ideas’ students. Because culture changes so rapidly, the ‘ideas’ students were able to adapt quickly. The students who relied on a skill often found themselves washed up when technology rendered that skill redundant. So I tried to help students become good at generating ideas. I found the best way to do that was by doing two things. To set them conceptual projects that stretched their minds and forced them to think of ideas rather than create designs that looked attractive. Secondly, to set a lot of projects. Thinking of many ideas is the best training for getting ideas.

Ideas Are Your Only Currency by Rod Judkins

Ideas Are Your Only Currency by Rod Judkins

My previous books equipped the reader with specific techniques and methods to think creatively and solve design problems.  I examined creative thinkers from art and design but also literature music and science. I explained the process they used to get ideas. Then I demonstrated to the reader how they could use them in whatever field they worked in.

The Art of Creative Thinking by Rod Judkins

The Art of Creative Thinking by Rod Judkins

You’ve been teaching the highly popular short courses 100 Design Projects and 100 Drawing Projects at Central Saint Martins for a number of years now. How have they evolved over the years?

If a project does not produce exciting work, next time I run the course I either alter it or delete it and add a better project. Over the years, I’ve been able to develop all the projects on the course to the highest standard. They are very different courses. 100 Design Projects focuses on ideas and how to get them. 100 Drawing Projects concentrates on exploring the potential of every conceivable medium and how to use them to improve your drawing ability.

Do you cover specific elements of the book in your 100 Design Projects course? If so, which course focuses on which elements? (i.e., I loved chapter 4, so maybe I can book on…)

A chapter of Ideas Are Your Only Currency focuses on technology – how we make it but it also alters and therefore makes us. So in both the book and the course I try to get students to work out how to make sure they use technology rather than let technology use them.

Ideas Are Your Only Currency

Ideas Are Your Only Currency


What’s the most effective ‘first step’ for any aspiring creative out there?

They should work out why they want to be creative. What is it they hope to achieve? Self-expression? Improve the design of cars? When they work out the ‘why,’ the ‘how’ and ‘what’ are easier to establish.

Any advice on how to approach a non-creative career with a bit more creativity?

Because of the success of my books I’ve been invited into places like the Royal Free Hospital where I teach creative thinking to Applied Medical Students. This is a new venture The Royal Free started because they are frustrated that science students have been taught how to learn facts at school but are not creative thinkers. A medical science students needs to be problem solver. A hospital is full of unexpected and unusual situations. That’s where I come in – I help the students to become ideas people who can think of solutions to problems.

Do you think finishing projects is important?

When you first think of an idea it is usually in the form of rough sketch and has energy and life. The more you work on it and refine it the more you can kill that energy. The trick is to develop and idea quickly and maintain that energy.

Where do you go for inspiration?

I get a lot of ideas from students. They introduce me to new topics, new music and new technologies. I meet so many students and they tell me so many things they’ve discovered – they keep me in touch.

What should our visiting students definitely not miss to catch ‘creative London’ in it’s finest?

I’d recommend First Thursdays at the Whitechapel Gallery. On the first Thursday of every month they organize a tour of local galleries. About 150 galleries in east London come together and run free events, exhibitions, talks and private views during a special late opening. They also take you around on a bus – it’s great fun and you learn a lot.

What’s the most important tool for artists? 

I don’t think physical tools are important. If a painter loses his brushes he can replace them with cloth, sponges, etc. Thinking tools are useful because if you get stuck they provide lots of possible alternatives.

Ideas Are Your Only Currency

Ideas Are Your Only Currency

 

Can non-creatives become creative?

They already are. I’ve discovered that, working with scientists in a hospital. They are constantly innovating and inventing new procedures and treatments but they don’t think of themselves as creative, they think of themselves as scientists.

Rod launches Ideas Are Your Only Currency tonight at Daunt Books, Marylebone, London

Book Launch

Rod’s next 100 Design Projects course is in April with further dates throughout the year.  He also teaches, 100 Drawing Projects, Contemporary Collage and Developing Your Creativity. Check the Central Saint Martins Short Course Website for further details.
Follow Rod on Twitter

 

So, what is Reportage Photography anyway?

December 6, 2016 in courses, Student Stories

We chat to photographer and Central Saint Martins short course tutor Karl Grupe about the art of storytelling through photography and catch up with former students about the benefits the course has made to their own photographic creativity.

From conceptual typologies to classical photo essays, the final projects presented by students on the Reportage Photography course are always varied, but what exactly is Reportage Photography? Karl Grupe, one of two tutors teaching Reportage Photography at Central Saint Martins short courses, cites it as, “the art of storytelling through the use of still imagery. It is an umbrella term which can find its way into other genres of photography – fashion, editorial, photojournalism, visual anthropology to name a few. It is my goal to have the students leave the course feeling confident not through a belief in the precision of photography but through the play and alchemy that comes from constructing a language in photography.  Exploring and identifying where one feels comfortable in speaking visually is the essence of this course.”

Speaking with some of the graduates of Karl’s Reportage Photography course would most certainly confirm that this has been achieved.

Fran Hales is a freelance photographer, originally from New Zealand, residing in East London.

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?      

Inspiring, challenging and motivating

What did you enjoy most about your course? 

We covered so many interesting topics and styles and I loved the weekly themed projects based around these. Karl who was our tutor is second to none. He has a brilliant way of teaching and works so well in encouraging and bringing out the best in his students.

Can you tell me about your Reportage project and your inspiration behind it? 

My reportage project was called The Urban Emerald. It focused on the importance and value of green space and the wellbeing effect it has on helping people to unwind in a chaotic city such as London which swells to 11m people during the working week. The location I chose was Victoria park in London’s east end. Historically this park was created in 1845 to aid the working class in this area who were suffering from poor health and low life expectancy due to over-crowded living conditions. It was the first public park in London to be built specifically for the people and hence it is more fondly known by the locals as The People’s Park.

The Urban Emerald © Fran Hales

The Urban Emerald © Fran Hales

Has this course benefitted your career or personal development? 

Absolutely. I already work as a photographer shooting mainly events. This course inspired me to think more about personal projects I would like to work on. It really showed me how to tell a story well and how to critique and edit my own work in a way I did not know before. It has given me more confidence. The support of the students and Karl the teacher helped me in having the confidence to present my work to the class.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course? 

Do it! It’s so much fun and it gives you a great insight into the world of photography. You learn a lot whilst not being overloaded. I have done many short courses but this is one that really has made a change for me.

The Urban Emerald ©Fran Hales

The Urban Emerald ©Fran Hales

Kat Kotula works in HR and is originally from Wroclaw, Poland. She has been living in London for 1 year.

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?      

Challenge, motivation, feedback.

What did you enjoy most about your course? 

There was a micro assignment for every class based on the lecture we received that day. With only one week to complete, it was great motivation to go out and do something new, sometimes stepping outside the comfort zone. We were challenged to use different equipment, different techniques, exploring new topics. Being able to compare our  work to others was very beneficial as it showed how the same topic could generate very different possibilities and approaches! 

Can you tell me about your Reportage Photography project and your inspiration behind it?

Titled, “We are from the heart”, it focuses on Pippa, a single mother after being abandoned by her cheating husband, who has recently lost her job. Her life revolves around her two sons, Rudy, aged 6, a diva and a showman, and Max, aged 9, who has autism. Through my project I was trying to understand and document the family dynamic and the interactions between the three of them.  I wanted the audience to see the emotional bond that this family has and demonstrate that despite their tough circumstances, there is so much love and tenderness in their little family.

We are from the heart ©Kat Kotula

We are from the heart ©Kat Kotula

How has this course benefitted your career or personal development?

I had already been to photography school in the past, where I learned about different techniques and genres and my final essay back then was much more arty and dreamy, based on my own inner emotions rather than the actual story.  With the help of Karl and the examples he presented in class and the personal feedback I received, I was able to tell a story that was not banal, was more personal and intimate but still, I hope, interesting to others.  I feel quite confident about my storytelling skills now. I have also learned a few new things about the research and editing of photos.  I will definitely use the series I created for my final project in my portfolio. 

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course?

Absolutely take it and engage yourself fully in every micro assignment given.  Whether you are a novice or an experienced photographer, every form of self development is great. This course will open your eyes to different possibilities, introduce you to photographers or projects you had not known before or simply challenge you to think outside of the box. Also you will get independent feedback about your work, which will help you create something extraordinary. 

We are of the heart ©Kat Kotula

We are of the heart ©Kat Kotula

Christian Olsen’s ultimate goal is to study Photography at UAL’s, London College of Communication.  He is originally from Copenhagen and currently resides in East London.

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?    

Immersive, relevant, stimulating.

What did you enjoy most about your course? 

The class discussions and peer feedback following our homework assignments.  Not only did it open up numerous aspects of your work for interpretation that you might have not expected, but it also forced inward reflection on what you succeeded in achieving and more importantly what you did not, which is the most significant part of the learning process.

Can you tell me about your Reportage Photography project and your inspiration behind it?  

Docklands was the name of my project.  As with every area of London, the Docklands is seeing transformation and transition in terms of industry, demographics and infrastructure.  Having studied in North Greenwich and commuting both by means of DLR and London City Airport, it struck me that this transformation is happening on a far larger and rapid scale than other parts of the city and history cannot keep up.  The aim of the project was to document the post-industrial state of disrepair and the bustling ambitions of the future and to juxtapose these as harshly as possible in an attempt to convey the unnerving state of the Dockland’s today.

Docklands ©Christian Olsen

Docklands ©Christian Olsen

How has this course benefitted your career or personal development? 

It has helped me immensely in creating a vision of where I see myself in my future photographic career. Before embarking on the course, I found it hard to handle projects of a more journalistic nature. But now I am able to hone in on more specific areas on the spectrum of photography.  I have also developed techniques of combining conceptual and reportage photography and I know what processes and pre-requisites go into creating a successful photo essay.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course? 

Definitely take it. Whether one is an experienced photographer or an amateur, the course content, tutor and other students will prove beneficial in terms of tools, techniques, inspiration and networking.

Docklands ©Christian Olsen

Docklands ©Christian Olsen

Following a series of Short Courses in photography at Central Saint Martins, Niaz Maleknia is now studying her Post-Graduate Diploma in Photography at UAL’s London College of Communication.

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?  

Motivational, interesting and vibrant

What did you enjoy most about the Reportage Photography short course? 

I enjoyed the weekly briefs and the feedback given by Karl and the other students. I also enjoyed learning about and discussing the work of other photographers.

Can you tell me about your Reportage project and your inspiration behind it? 

My end of course project was titled  Facebook Lolita. I am fascinated by the selfie culture and the use of photography to promote oneself and demonstrate on social media. I am a mum of a 13 year old girl and have therefore become aware of the explicitly of my daughter’s friends’ profile pictures.  I searched Facebook for open accounts and was able to screen shot the images that these girls aged 13-15 years old were posting of themselves.  The girls seemed to be living a double life, one in reality and the other on the social pages. My background is in English literature and the images reminded me of Nabokov’s controversial novel, Lolita.   I wanted to add the emoji faces to protect the identity of the girls and to also add a childhood element to them. I also saturated the colours. The final work was shown on an old slide show which made it seem more uncomfortable for the viewer.

Facebook Lolita ©Niaz Maleknia

Facebook Lolita ©Niaz Maleknia

Has this course benefitted your career or personal development? 
I have really benefitted from the course as it has enabled me to get onto the Post Graduate Diploma Course at London College of Communication. I was able to put together a body of work, and also gained a lot of knowledge which I am still finding helpful.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course? 
I would encourage anyone interested in photography to take the course, as it is taught to a high standard in a fantastic environment, which in itself is so inspiring.  Karl teaches you to look at things in a different way and the briefs are fun and challenging at the same time.  Karl is enthusiastic and gives excellent feedback so you move forward and develop your eye and skills.

Karl with students in class ©Niaz Maleknia

Karl with students in class ©Niaz Maleknia

The next Reportage Photography Short Course is in March with further dates throughout 2017. Check the Central Saint Martins Short Course website for further details.

Profile photo of Yi Zhou

by Yi Zhou

Session 8: Unit 5:self evaluative report

November 29, 2016 in self evaluative report

Hi,my name is JOY(YIZHOU),a year two study abroad student who come from China in Chelsea college of arts,my major is textile and my area is knitting.I am keen on collecting things and finding beautiful moments of life,if you would like to know more from me you can email to me (y.zhou0520161@arts.c.uk)or just leave comments below.Nice to meet you. 很高兴认识你。

I feel so glad that I have chance to have the classes of sustainable design which I learnt so much from this project especially for the sense and applying of the material.

There are so much new content I learnt in this project which about the sustainable design. In the first two lecture,we got in touch with the TEN strategies which are “design to minimum waste””design to cyclability” “design to reduce energy and water use””design that explore better and cleaner energy””design that take models from nature and history””design for ethical production””design to reduce the need of consume””design to develop service and system”and the last one “design activism”.These content are so interesting and colorful that I first know that a full scaled way to design in sustainable way,after this deeply study which change me a lot in my way to understand and deal with the material.

The content are so helpful for me.In the past,the yarns are just yarns in my view and I don’t have so much emotion,but for the time being, I try to understand one thing by its history and the stories which “more than itself”.For example,I usually ask myself “what is the process of the material comes out?””which kind of company design it?””what is the special difference of it from other things?”……these questions give me so much inspiration to deal with the material and help me to make the design with more kinds of choices in a more environmental way and money saving but looks better.

This project not only giving me so much knowledge but also changing my way to make my work.The project of textile this term called”color project” which need us to improve our awareness of color judging and combine the color with the material in a better way.After learning the “sustainable design”,I realize that I am so interested in the 1 and 2 from the ten which are “design to minimum waste” and “design to cyclability” .From these ,I start to pay more attention to the waste which are not cared by others.I start to take advantage of the color ,shape and the material,and then I find that it really help me a lot,it just like broaden my ways of design and help me to do my work in more ways with much more inspiration.so in this project ,you can see my use of “sustainable design”

(this is my textile color project called <taking on……looking for……>)

In this project I did some masks which take inspiration from the religious drawing “tibetan thangka”.

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(you can see the horns of the mask and some little parts which are made by waste milk bottles which have interesting shapes.)I cut the milk bottles into pieces like”handles””circles”……which can be used very well.

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(I drank so many bottles of sainsbury those days.)

In this project,I put my feeling as the highlight of the final.I am a study abroad student in Chelsea.I felt so weak when I came to London and study here for so many differences,and I just would like to make the masks to hide my real weak face and to show others my power I didn’t have (just like the masks.)However,I must admit that “sustainable design”give me so much inspiration and knowledge of material which make me have the “power” and “courage” now to face with more differences of the culture.

I believe that after taking inspiration from the sustainable design I would go on designing with more thoughts of waste which are dropped away by understanding their stories and background behind them.

At last,I want to say thank you to the tutor Gabrielle Miller.Thank you for giving me so much suggestion and your patient to solve my problems.I am so glad and fortunate to have the “sustainable design” classes, and I will go on hard working in my following projects.

 

Idea Generation Processes – How do you convert ideas into finished work?

November 9, 2016 in courses, Student Stories

What exactly is the creative process and how do we convert ideas into a finished piece of work? We chat to artist Madeleine Staubli about her experience on the Idea Generation Processes short course and how it taught her new ways of unlocking her creative ideas, plus experiment with new ones.

What is your name and where do you come?  

Madeleine Staubli and I’m Swiss.  I currently live in the countryside near Lucerne

What is your occupation?

Artist

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?  

Fun, intensive, great experience 

What did you enjoy most about your course Idea Generation Processes?  

It was a great opportunity to experiment with different materials and a great opportunity to get closer to my own artistic language. I learned how to use my brain in new ways and it still works even a whole year after the course. It was worth every pound. Ideal for beginners as for professionals.  I actually took Ilga’s Total Drawing course also and loved the efficient way of going through different chapters. The teaching speed created a “workflow” which made my hands become drawing hands.

What was your first impression of Central Saint Martins?

It gave me the real London feeling which I hoped to find.

What did you think of your tutor Ilga Leimanis?

I appreciated Ilga’s teaching method.  Even with 16 in a group, she was efficient and clear and she was able to teach a mixed level class effectively, it didn’t matter if they were beginners or advanced learners or professionals.

How has this course benefitted your career or personal development?

I already had ideas about creating 3D objects but it seemed so difficult to realise them.  After the course it all became so easy and it felt as if all the doors in my brain were pushed open.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course?

If you really feel like experimenting and trying some other ways of thinking creatively then go for it.

What is the best thing about studying in London?

I love London and if I am there for a week I can keep my mind free of everything else. Being there enables me to occupy myself only with the things I want to.

The next Idea Generation Processes Short Course is in January with further dates throughout 2017. Check the Central Saint Martins Short Course website for further details.

Flash Fiction!

October 25, 2016 in courses, Student Stories

It is that time of year again, when all eyes are on the Man Booker Prize for Fiction shortlist, and this year it is said to be the best and most confident in years.  Literary prizes such as the Man Booker are certainly inspiring, and here at Central Saint Martins Short Courses, a new creative writing course, Flash Fiction (Weekend), will teach you the craft of writing short stories in under 1000 words.

Taught by Creative Writing for Beginners tutor, Joanna Pocock, this 2-day course will invite students to read, write, and workshop stories in progress, with students finishing the course with a well-structured, complete piece of writing.

Past students of Joanna’s creative writing short courses have gone on to find successes in journalism, song-writing and even a short-listing for a literature award.

Season Butler, is one such success story, who after studying under Joanna, went on to enrol on an MA in Creative Writing and was shortlisted for the Leeds Literary Prize in 2014.

We spoke to Season about literary success and how a short course in creative writing led her into a career as a professional writer.

Books!

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?      

Energising, illuminating, challenging

What did you enjoy most about your course?         

The group taking the course with me was great, and I made awesome friends there. We were all in the same boat, trying to carve out a writing practice while juggling the demands of work and family and all the messiness of life. Writing can be a solitary activity; with the support of Joanna and the rest of the group, I didn’t feel that I was going it alone.

How has this course benefitted your career or personal development?

This course was a springboard into my career as a professional writer. Even having studied English and Creative Writing as an undergraduate, the course at CSM was hugely valuable, helping to refresh and refocus my writing practice. For me, going on to read an MA in Creative Writing was a natural next step, and I don’t think I could have done it without the confidence and renewed skills I gained in Joanna’s class.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course?

Go for it.  Joanna is a great teacher who creates a warm atmosphere among the participants, makes the often daunting task of writing something feel rewarding and (dare I say) fun.

Flash Fiction in a Weekend short course will take place on 26 and 27 November 2016. For further information please visit our website.

 

Over the Garden Wall

October 23, 2016 in Photographic Research

over-the-garden-wall-55eea3e07147e

I recently finished watching Over the Garden Wall, and I can’t stop thinking about it. Created by Patrick McHale, it’s a ten part miniseries made for Cartoon Network. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this entranced by an animated series, and I’m still trying to pinpoint what exactly it is about this show that keeps it rolling around in my head.

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Above is my favourite character called Greg, and his pet frog that changes name several times through the series. Each episode is only ten minutes long yet for me encompasses the perfect blend of quality illustration and ridiculous, whimsical storylines that I adore. The backgrounds are insanely beautiful and according to wikipedia are digitally painted to resemble grisaille paintings.

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tumblr_newskaxHfu1rxxz69o3_1280

Some backgrounds designed and painted by Nick Cross, the art directer for Over the Garden Wall

Backgrounds designed and painted by Nick Cross, art directer for Over the Garden Wall

As Greg and his brother Wert wander through the woods, each episode introduces a new array of characters and creatures.

Auntie Whispers, one of the most terrifying characters I've seen, who seems to bulge in every way

Auntie Whispers, a most terrifying character, who seems to bulge in every way.

These pumpkin creatures feature in Episode Two

These pumpkin creatures feature in episode two, Wert is to the right.

The Woodsman, and to the right the gleaming eyes of The Beast.

The show has this underlying menacing tone; for the entire breadth of it the children are being stalked by a creature called The Beast who is constantly seen in shadow and feared by everyone in the woods.

Yet in every episode there is also some sort of nonsensical musical feature like Greg below singing about Potatoes and Molasses (which will get stuck in your head I promise).

It’s this bizarre concoction of whimsy and horror and beauty and laughter. I love love love it and I can see it being a repeat place for me to come back to as inspiration.

Images found on Over the Garden Wall official tumblr which can be found here, and check out Art Director Nick Cross’s blog here

Ceramics Short Course alumni Maria Gasparian wins MullenLowe Nova Award

September 29, 2016 in courses, Student Stories

It’s been an interesting journey for Architect Maria Gasparian, who following an inspirational Short Course in Ceramics at Central Saint Martins, subsequently enrolled on an MA in Ceramic Design and graduated with distinction this summer.   Following this she won a MullenLowe Nova Award and Unilever Sustainability Award for her Colour Ceramic City, which aims to offer an engaging and sensory experience within pubic urban spaces.

Photo by Vic Phillips

Maria Gasparian, Colour Ceramic City Photo by Vic Phillips

Currently on display at Brain Waves, a Central Saint Martins Lethaby Gallery exhibition, the self-supporting sculptural ceramic pieces and dynamic volumes, formed by extruded clay coils have an abstract plane with two faces that celebrates the plasticity of clay and brilliance of the glazes. The pieces are scalable and can adapt to local contexts offering endless opportunities for site-specific interventions creating vibrant spaces within a city.

Maria Gasparian, Ceramic City, materials: clay, earthenware glaze Photo by Vic Phillips

Maria Gasparian, Colour Ceramic City, Materials: clay, earthenware glaze Photo by Vic Phillips

We asked Maria about her journey from ceramics short course student to award winning MA Ceramics graduate and how her Ceramics Short Course changed the path of her career.

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?   

Eye-opener, Informative, Intensive

What did you enjoy most about your course?  

The teaching, hands on experience and experimentation.

How has this course benefitted your career or personal development?

The short course on Architectural Ceramics was a start of a new path in my career. I had been practicing as an architect at the time and also attending part-time pottery classes. Joining the short course gave me an idea about how to combine the two practices. Subsequently I enrolled on MA in Ceramic Design at CSM and graduated with distinction this summer.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course?

With work, study or family commitments it is often difficult to subscribe to a full time course particularly if it is in a new discipline for someone. Short courses are a very good way to try new ideas or test something that one had on their mind for a long time.

The next Ceramics for Beginners short course starts on 22 October 2016.  For further information please visit our website.  Taught by Simeon Featherstone, the course will teach you how to construct forms using hand-building techniques, create colourful and decorative surface patterns and also experiment with slip-casting.

Also in December we have exciting new course, Ceramic Screen-Printing and Ceramic Transfers, which will teach you how to design and produce your own screen-printed transfers.  Our full course offer of Ceramic Short Courses can be found on the Central Saint Martins Short Courses website.

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