Just hold the chook and give it a good slap with the paddle says Cathy Lawley who runs Fried Mudd Pottery Workshops on the Sunshine Coast. You don’t need any experience to turn out something that you’ll be pleased to put on display at home. 

Make your own chook at a Fried Mudd Pottery Workshop

Today’s workshop is all about making our own fowls to take home.  Quail or hen, white or speckled, small or large, the choice is yours. Once glazed, Cathy will organise a firing and then it is ready to grace your home.  It starts with a lump of clay rolled into long sausage shapes which quickly get turned into a coil pot. Another coil pot goes on top to make the body, then the head and tail are added.  Somehow some wings appear along the way.

No experience but the chooks look good

Surprisingly, although none of our class claims huge experience with pottery or clay, we all turn out recognisable hens or quails. I’m a little apprehensive when it comes time to spank the chook, but it certainly helps change a ball into a chook. Cathy wanders around helping with a tweak here, and a pull there, plus tips on how to make a beak and comb. The eyes are revealed with a few deft strokes, and voila, the hen’s personality starts to appear. I’m already very fond of my creation, and I name her Henrietta, which seems a good chook name.

Glaze your chook

Glazes are on the next table and easy to apply to the damp body with a brush.

We leave our creations safely in Cathy’s hands for baking using a raku firing.

As well as these collectable clay hens, Cathy is known for her life-like green tree frog sculptures and magpies. A wander through her studio reveals a wealth of creations and many are available for sale in her attached shop.

You can also make your own pottery bathing beauty goddess complete with any curves you may desire, kookaburras, currawongs and cows.

Cathy, assisted by Annabelle the Burmese cat, offers one-day and weekend clay workshops where the only mission is to discover your creative talent. There are also classes for children during school holidays and after school. 

Where is Fried Mudd?

The Fried Mudd studio is located in the Gateway West Makers Precinct in Noosaville. The workshops cost from $110 for a mini workshop to $220.

When you are in Noosa

There are so many fabulous things to do in Noosa! I’ve rounded up 21 of them here.