Help Turning Earth open in Highgate

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Raising £150,000 to open a new Turning Earth ceramics studio at Woodside Works in Highgate.

£157,490

£150,000 target

105%

147 investors

We are fully funded!

EARLy-BIRD 
MEMBERs

Join the studio
Early-bird prices
Complementary
apron
& figurine workshop

crowdfunder
classes

Sign up for a course
Early-bird prices
Complementary toolkit


Opening Market
15/16 October

Meet the makers
Ceramics from 100 artists
Demos & making tasters
Street food & live music

Turning Earth in Highgate


On 13th September 2022, Turning Earth opens its fourth London centre, in Woodside Works, Highgate.

Located 5 minutes walk from Highgate Station on the Northern Line, the new studio is surrounded by the ancient wild woods that flank Muswell Hill Road.

A huge, airy, saw-toothed industrial building with an adjacent courtyard garden, it will be  home to a new community of makers in North London, giving space for a lot more people to fit creativity into their everyday life.

Woodside Works, Highgate

Find us on the map

How to get to us

The studio is easily accessible by public transport. The 43 and 134 bus stop is a 2 minute walk away, and it's a quick 6 minute walk from Highgate station on the Northern Line. There are plenty of bike parking spaces within the gated area of the yard.

Please note, as the studio is located in a residential area, it is a condition of our planning consent that we minimise car use. The studio and surrounding roads have parking available only for disabled users.

The studio at Woodside Works

Why open-access membership?

It takes 10,000 hours to become a master craftsperson.  With the flexibility offered by open-access membership, Turning Earth makers fit their practice around other commitments, working independently at convenient times. More flexible than a class, and with access to more resources than you'd find in a home studio, it's the perfect mixture of the two.

Our team takes care of technical aspects of the making process, offering wrap-around  support with kiln firing, and providing clay bodies and glazes that work in our firing cycles. All a member has to do is to leave their finished pieces on the designated firing shelf.

If you have completed any pottery course anywhere you are eligible to join. If you are feeling a bit rusty but prefer a flexible membership to a fixed class schedule, we can set you up with private tuition with one of Turning Earth's teachers.

Become a
MEMBER

The makings of a Zen garden at Woodside Woorks

How membership works

Membership includes any-time access during our opening hours, up to 15 hours a week. With any membership plan you get your own personal storage shelf (approx. 90cmx45cmx45cm),  experienced staff to fire your work, use of equipment and up to 30 litres a month set temperature firings (the 30 litres includes two firings, bisque and glaze). The only additional thing you need to buy is clay, which we sell on-site.

There are several different price structures to choose from, depending on the length of your contract, and how much you pay upfront. During the 2nd early bird period, our one-month-notice contract is £205 per month(2-month minimum term), our 6 month pay-monthly contract is £195 per month, and our one year pay-monthly contract is £185 per month. If you want a cheaper rate, you can purchase a block of months upfront.  The upper limit on usage is 15 hours a week, although the average person comes for around four, which works out at about £10 per hour.

We are open 66 hours a week, including from 10am until 10pm Tuesday to Thursday and 10am until 8pm Friday to Sunday.

Opening hours:

Tuesday: 10am – 10pm
Wednesday: 10am – 10pm
Thursday: 10am – 10pm
Friday: 10am-8pm
Saturday: 10am-8pm
Sunday: 10am-8pm

Become a
MEMBER

A class at Turning Earth's first studio in Hoxton

Turning Earth classes

Our general ceramics classes cover a range of making techniques including handbuilding and throwing on the wheel. We also offer specialised wheel classes - and, especially for our crowdfunders - we are running courses on specific processes such as making bowls with plaster formers, making planters, and tile making.

Students on our longer eight and 12-week courses learn a range of techniques before progressing to working on their own projects, with close assistance from teachers.

A 12-week course or a week-long intensive will give you the grounding you need to attend the studio as an independent open-access member. Those wanting to make rapid progress as a ceramic artist often choose to take a course and open-access membership in tandem, and many take several courses with the same or different instructors to cement their knowledge. 

Our Accelerated Learning Package is a special, one-time-only offer for students in our classes who decide to become a member and practice while the course is still running. This gives you £100 off your first membership subscription.

Join a
class

Teacher Grace McCarthy at the potter's wheel

Turning Earth Teachers

Turning Earth classes are all taught by passionate ceramic artists who also make and sell their own work. Many of them have followed the Turning Earth route into a making career - beginning as members in our studios and slowly progressing to selling their work and often opening their own studios.

They have all studied and worked on their own practice extensively before training as teachers through the Turning Earth studio system, and shadowed and assisted other instructors before becoming lead teacher in their own classes. All teachers are well-versed in the Turning Earth curriculum, and each will have personalised the course to reflect their own strengths and making styles.

Join a class

Crowdfunder gift aprons

Early-bird prices and crowdfunder gifts

If you purchase a class or membership before 1st September you will not only benefit from early-bird prices, you will also receive crowdfunder gifts, including a complementary toolkit for students, and a Turning Earth apron for members.

Members who sign up before 1st September will be invited to a figurine making workshop, in advance of the pit-firing that will take place on our opening night.

During the launch party on Friday 7th October, we will follow an ancient rite and ceremonially place the kiln gods in the fire to launch the new space. All our crowdfunder members and students will be invited to attend.

A market at Turning Earth

Opening Weekend Market, 15/16 October 11-5pm

On the weekend of 15th and 16th October we will open the doors for an inaugural weekend maker market, where over 100 ceramicists from across the Turning Earth family of London studios will come together to sell their work.

As expected from a Turning Earth market, there'll also be acoustic music, stalls selling yummy locally made food, and plenty of making demonstrations, as well as an opportunity to get your hands in clay yourself.

Why practice ceramics

Practicing ceramics may just make you a happier person. Studies have shown the numerous mental health benefits of participating in craft, which -  because it is both repetitively physical and involves completing manageable tasks - releases the “happy chemicals” of serotonin and dopamine in the brain.* A lot of people find that making, like meditation, helps restore a sense of presence and mental balance.

Working with clay is part of the evolutionary history of human beings. As hunter gatherers, we spent millennia digging it from riverbanks and shaping it into usable vessels. By following our innate desire to put our hands in the earth and mould it, we are using our physiology in a way that is continuous with our evolutionary development.

* www.craftscouncil.org.uk/stories/4-reasons-craft-good-your-mental-health

SIGN UP

Hanging plants in the studio

About Turning Earth

Turning Earth pioneered the open-access membership studio model in the UK. Launching in 2013 to bring to London a model of community ceramics makerspace that had been developing within the US, Turning Earth has since inspired many similar studios, both in this country and around the world.

Turning Earth has now grown to encompass five sites in East London, with studios in railway arches in the Kingsland Viaduct in Hoxton, in the Argall Avenue industrial site near Lea Bridge station in Leyton, and - as of December 2022 - within the Crawley Road Studio complex next to Lordship Recreation ground in Tottenham. The new studio in Highgate, on the edge of Queen's Woods in North London, is Turning Earth's sixth studio site.

Aside from being the first of its kind in this country, Turning Earth is  known for the scale and beauty of its spaces and the efficiency of its technical systems and firings,  which have been studiously refined over nearly a decade. Each of the studios is an open, airy, hub that can accommodate hundreds of makers each month. The spaces are exceptionally clean, minimising the risks to makers' lungs posed by silica dust in the air, reflecting the high value Turning Earth places on health and safety.

Turning Earth is also legendary for its maker markets, which attract people from all over the country keen to discover the new rising stars of the ceramics world. Over the years these have been attended by a significant number of Instagram's most influential food stylists, and many of the UK's best loved celebrity chefs.

Woodside works

Woodside Works

Located in a small industrial enclave surrounded by Queen's Woods, the new studio has spent the last 25 years as a houseplant design workshop.

A classic 1930s brick built industrial building, the 6,000 sq ft building has a north-facing saw-toothed roof, which offers the perfect light for crafting. Lovingly renovated by its former occupier, a life-long collector of British studio ceramics and a personal friend of some of the leading ceramicists of the post-war generation, its pillars are painted a distinctive orange. This playful touch will be developed further with Turning Earth's new range of colourful, mid-century-inspired studio furniture.

Adjacent Highgate Woods is home to a recently discovered Roman kiln, and indeed the practice of pottery in the area goes back to prehistory. In the studio's back yard is the makings of a dry garden, which Turning Earth will develop into a contemplative space, decorated with stone built cairns in tribute to the ancient history of these islands, when pottery would first have been made here. In honour of the Asian-influenced studio ceramics culture we have inherited from the potters of the early 20th Century, the garden will be planted with rhododendrons and maples common to the magical Zen gardens of Japan.

The Turning Earth studio in Tottenham

Reinventing the maker-space

Maker-spaces are nothing new; people have been getting together to share equipment and resources for crafting pretty much since time began. But after the industrial revolution, shared crafting spaces began to disappear from our culture.

As we collectively awaken to the satisfaction that can be gained from making things as a leisure activity - for love as well as for a living - the concept of the membership studio, with an open-access model like a gym where you come and go as you please, has become increasingly popular.

Makerspaces are extraordinarily effective learning hubs because their users are motivated by pure enjoyment, and the energising elements of spontaneity and play are not lost under a pile of paperwork.

In the makerspace, people of all abilities and backgrounds practice side by side. Turning Earth members include everyone from Turner Prize winning painters to the long-term unemployed. There’s  no set curriculum, and yet people within our walls progress very rapidly. Since launching in 2013, we’ve seen a large number of our open-access makers build successful careers in ceramics.

And, because of the organic way in which people with common interests are brought together, it's also a brilliant way to make friends.

Become a member

The Turning Earth studio in Tottenham

Crafting a better future

The pandemic created unprecedented demand for opportunities to participate in craft. With the obligation to stay close to home grew an appreciation for simple pleasures, for spending time in  local parks, and for slowing down. Long-distance commutes have gone out of fashion as people realise just how much of their work can be done from home, and how much the extra time clawed back enriches their lives, leaving more time for rest to counter-balance the hectic pace of modern living.

Turning Earth is responding to this cultural shift by launching new creative hubs in the heart of more local communities.

Bird goddesses from 4500 BC, inspiration for the crowdfund members' kiln god figurine workshop

£215

Monthly membership

£215 a month, 2-month minimum contract.

£200

Monthly membership

£200 a month, 6-month minimum contract.

£195

Monthly membership

£195 a month, 12-month minimum contract.

£265

8-week course

Take a weekly class over an 8-week period covering both hand-building and wheel-throwing techniques. Choose from a range of days and times.

**Receive a complementary toolkit

£330

A weekend at the wheel

Take a long weekend's break right here in London and immerse yourself in learning the art of the potter's wheel.

**Receive a complementary toolkit.

£395

12-week course

Take a weekly class over a 12-week period covering both hand-building techniques and wheel-throwing. Choose from a range of days and times.

**Receive a complementary toolkit

£445

Week-long immersive course

Plan a London 'staycation' and get creative in our peaceful retreat on the edge of Highgate Woods. It's a great way to get a grasp on the craft quickly without the commitment of a weekly time slot.

Founders' Circle
Start-Up Loan Scheme

Turning Earth has always been powered through the power of crowdfunding. All our studios have been funded through a combination of community members purchasing memberships and classes in advance, and by individuals within our community extending peer-to-peer loans that we pay back over time.

This time we are funding 36 potter's wheels at a cost of £65,000, and a further three kilns at £20,000 through community peer-to-peer loans. We are also raising £20,000 to help cover our stamp duty tax and other conveyancing expenses.

If you are able to extend us a loan, we will repay you over 3 or 5 years (or longer), depending on your preference, at a rate of 8 percent per year.

We are asking potential Founders t0 pledge loans now, which will give us time to arrange the contract paperwork and set up the transfers before 12th September. Repayments will begin on 12th January 2023.

Illustrations for repayment schedules for £1,000, £5,000 and £10,000 loans are provided through the links below, alongside a copy of the loan contract. Please note, we are asking for loans of at least £1,000, to minimise administration time.


By providing start up finance you will join our Founders Circle. All of the members of the circle will gift their name (or a name in honour of a loved one) to one of our wheels and kilns.

Those that loan £5,000 and more, the "Founding Fire Stokers" will be invited to participate in a magical raku party in the studio, where they will be able to decorate a piece and watch it being fired.

Those that loan us £10,000 and more, our "Kiln Gods", will also be gifted one of the figurines ceremonially pit fired in an ancient rite during our opening evening.

By loaning us funds directly rather than going through a bank, you can rest assured that you are earning your interest by financing a life-enhancing project.

UPDATE:We are now fully funded in peer to peer loans!

shot of Turning Earth Haringey, before work began

View of part of the space before work began