Vassos Demetriou is an award-winning ceramics artist who loves to share his knowledge with others. Born in Famagusta in 1954, he was forced to depart after the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Recently, he exercised his rights as a refugee to rent an old stone house in the Akamas village of Androlykou, which had been occupied by Turkish Cypriots prior to the island’s division. For the past four summers, students have gathered there for a series of week-long experimental ceramics workshops. Prior to each workshop, Vassos harvests clay from local fields and soaks it for two weeks; he then dries it on a plaster slab before pressing it with Italian clay and dividing it into useable chunks. He also prepares three kilns: an insulated cage for gas firing, a handmade oven for wood firing, and a brick box for primitive pit firing. Students are invited to form objects by hand, with moulds, or on the wheel. Each day introduces new methods of coating and firing the ceramics. The Raku technique, for example, involves pouring an iron chloride solution over a piece and then surrounding it with organic materials (copper wire, horsehair, dried leaves, sugar) before wrapping it with foil for firing; the results are unpredictable yet astonishing. The group works outside at long tables in the shaded garden; at midday, the tables are cleared for a communal lunch. Attendees emerge with new artworks and new friends. Vassos has announced two workshops for 2021, on 21-26 June or 5-10 July; you must register in advance by writing to [email protected].