Turning Earth's mission is to cultivate craft both as an accessible hobby and as a viable career. We want to contribute towards a broad adult curriculum that will improve quality of life in the city. Our members come to Turning Earth for a variety of purposes, including to:
- Make work in ceramics to keep or to sell
- Learn a new skill
- Be part of a community
- Relax and unwind
- Nurture creativity
Make the world a better plate
Our social and environmental philosophy: Turning Earth is proud to be part of a wider movement of maker-spaces, making collaborative working a normal part of London life. We believe the future will see participation replacing consumerism as the most important driver of our economies, and that this will increase both well being and environmental sustainability. We want to empower people to make the things they use every day by hand, to share these skills, and to sell locally made products within their community.
The urgent environmental task we face today is not just to say no to an unsustainable system of mass production, which relies on resource depletion and climate changing freight. Our real task is to build a new economy to replace it. Putting your hands in the earth to make something can be an important first step.
Turning Earth's philosophy
Turning Earth is indebted to the Arts and Crafts movement at the beginning of the 20th century, which suggested that there should be no separation between utility and art. Our vision rests in the intuited feeling that we will naturally make life more beautiful when we take our aesthetic awareness, our right-brained feeling for things, as seriously as we take our rational understanding of the world.
We exist to enable people to make beautiful physical objects, and in so doing to make their lives more beautiful: more centred, more fulfilled, more present to what they truly care about. We feel that in making this movement, we are encouraging a broader social shift towards living with care in our world.
About Turning Earth
Our first studio, Turning Earth Hoxton, opened in December 2013. Following a model popular in the US, it was the first dedicated open-access ceramics studio in London. Our second facility, in Lee Valley E10, opened in March 2017.
Open-access membership is at the core of what we offer. This allows users flexible access to facilities, at a time that suits them. We also run a regular schedule of courses for people new to the craft, and for people who would like to develop their skills.
Everyone is welcome here. Beginners work alongside professional artists in a supportive community. There is no course work or requirement for entry, and you are free to make what you like.
We believe that when craft is available for all, the whole industry benefits. Interest in craftsmanship increases, and so does demand for expertise. An expanded hobby market creates teaching opportunities for professional artists, which can help to make their career more sustainable.
To support the emerging professionals among our membership, we provide:
Teaching opportunities. We support professional makers to develop as instructors, which allows them to supplement their income while providing high quality instruction to beginners.
Professional sales and marketing training. We encourage entrepreneurialism within our community and empower artists and craftsman to compete in the marketplace.
Quarterly studio sales. These create opportunities for early-career professionals to connect with customers and industry buyers and to develop their work.
Masterclasses with experts. (These are available for all ceramic artists, although they are discounted for Turning Earth members.)