Bill van Gilder

Presented by SWFL Potters Guild

February 9,10,11 2024

SWFLPG General Membership Meeting

  • 12 Apr 2023
  • 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • 501 Shreve St, Punta Gorda, FL 33950

          Southwest Florida Potters Guild Presents 

             A Demonstration Weekend with Bill van Gilder

      “The Functional Pot; Tips, Tools & Techniques”

Join the Southwest Florida Potters Guild for a Demonstration with internationally-renowned potter Bill van Gilder.


Bill’s Demonstration Weekend Description

Every potter has a list of WHAT they want to make. HOW to make it, is often the question.

During this two-day information-loaded, demo-workshop, some 50+ techniques will be demonstrated in answer to these ‘how-to’ questions; techniques participants will want to use and adjust to fit their own future work. Short cuts, tips and tool-use at the wheel will be shared through demo after demo. Hand-building functional forms will be the focus during part of the demonstrations, defining projects and techniques for hand-builders.

The weekend includes a 90-minute slide/lecture on Friday evening.

“Throughout 50+ yrs. of making functional pots, I’ve collected hundreds of making techniques

used to make specific pots, both wheel-thrown and hand-built.”

Demonstrated techniques at the wheel may include:

   - Efficient hand positions for throwing

   - Simple tools and their use

   - Lid arrangements and form

   - Spout, rim, and lip making and proportions

   - Trimming and foot finishing possibilities

   - Faceting and fluting as decoration

   - Handles and lugs; pulled and hand built

   - Making bottle forms; collaring techniques

   - Making dinnerware; throwing and trimming

   - Making squared and oval baking ware

   - Wet, thick slip decoration

   - And much more…

A sampling of forms to be demonstrated:

   - Open and lidded casseroles

   - Pitcher and pouring pots

   - Cups and mugs

   - Bowl forms

    - Dinnerware

    - Bottle forms

Hand-building demonstrations may include:

   - Slumped oval slab platter making

   - Humped squared plate making

   - Foot attachment possibilities; slab, sprigged & coiled

   - Textured decoration; wet slip, pressed, and resisted textures

A discussion about glazes will also take place during the workshop. Bill’s ^6 oxidation, ^8-9-10 gas, and salt/soda wood-firing slips & glaze recipe sheets will be provided to each participant.

A selection of Bill’s potter’s hand-tools (van Gilder ClayTools) and a sampling of his current work will be available for purchase.

Participants are welcome to take photos and videos for their own use, and are encouraged to bring a notebook.


All sessions take place at the Punta Gorda Woman's Club, 118 Sullivan Street Punta Gorda, FL 33950. This historic building is located in beautiful downtown Punta Gorda, and is within walking distance of local hotels, restaurants, and the waterfront. The Woman’s Club is less than four miles from the Punta Gorda airport, serviced by Allegiant Airlines. Participants can also fly into Fort Myers Airport, which is less than an hour drive to Punta Gorda.

We’re working with local hotels to obtain a block of discounted rooms, so please email us at before booking your hotel room.



Friday, February 9, 2024 - 7:00 p.m. until approximately 8:30 p.m. EST.

        - Includes: Snacks and refreshments.


Saturday and Sunday, February 10 and 11, 2024 – 9:30 a.m. until approximately 4:00 p.m. EST.

        - Included each day:

            - Continental breakfast

            - Lunch

            - 2 breaks with sodas, tea, coffee, and snacks

        - Dinner is NOT included.



The cost of the Friday evening and Saturday and Sunday demonstration sessions is $225.00 for Guild members, and $250.00 for non-members. Enrollment is limited to 50 participants.

Due to the limited class size and high demand, cancellations must be received 15 days prior to the start of the first session to receive a refund.


Southwest Florida Potters Guild, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. 

©2023 by Southwest Florida Potters Guild, Inc.

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