Rachel and her sisters popped into the pottery to pick up their fabulous ‘funky fruits’ from her 9th Birthday party celebrations a few weeks ago.

I spent a couple of days this week working at Grace Academy in Solihull. Children could opt into either clay with myself or football in the school hall. I was somewhat surprised by some of the footballing teenage lads, who, at lunch break, plonked themselves down at the clay tables and proceeded to make stuff for half an hour or so- “It really gets you focused” was one of the comments.

Twenty staff from Lillian De Lissa Nursery School made the trip from Birmingham to Eastnor to sample the delights of our potter’s wheel team building workshop – not that the gang needed much team building! I’ve never known such a cohesive bunch! The school greatly values creativity and has an excellent approach to its work with the under five’s.
We all had a fantastic time constructing a Lillian De Lissa coat of arms and throwing wobblies on the potter’s wheel! I can’t wait till the Autumn when I’ll be visiting the school again to work with the children for the third time.

…I had the pleasure of working with Palfrey Junior School in Birmingham. The project was part of a community cohesion drive and children from neighbouring Pheasey Park Primary came along to Palfrey to join in the clay fun. Over one hundred children each made a tile. When assembled the tiles will make up a circular clock, one metre in diameter. I’ll be visiting Pheasey Park in the autumn, when children from Palfrey will help Pheasey Park make their own clock.

Also had a final flying potter visit to Badsey First School near Evesham. We produced a village of little Badsey inspired clay houses. The last four sessions have all been spent working with years four and five – nice end to the school year, and for half of the children a clay finale to their time spent at Badsey. These children were also the very first that I worked with at the school – six years ago! Then they were all in the Reception class – where does the time go!?

The last couple of weekends have been taken up with large groups of women visiting the pottery, choosing clay as a way of marking that special day:

Miranda’s Hen Party
Twenty one of them in total. The gals were staying in Tepee accommodation hence the feathered headdress’s.

Keston’s 40th
Keston and fourteen of her girlfriends, spent a morning at Eastnor Pottery taking turns on the wheel and making decorative plates to mark her birthday.

Penny’s Henny!
Another hen party. This time local lass Penny and friends descended on the studio to make ceramic artifacts and momentoes. Nice hat Penny!

We were fortunate to have an additional member of staff this week – Jess, a year 10 John Masefield High School student, who spent five days accompanying us on various workshops, projects and tasks.

This is how Jess’ week panned out:
Monday & Tuesday – John Moore Primary School in Tewkesbury, working with the whole school, to produce collaborative planters – one for each class.

Wednesday – A day with Gemma at the studio, packing kilns, care-taking wet pots, and making tools.

Thursday – Assisting Sarah on a Clayplay session at the pottery for the under five’s, and their families.

Friday – Demonstrating the potter’s wheel in front of an appreciative audience in Ledbury town centre. We took a stand at a craft market as part of Ledbury Poetry Festival. Whilst Jon chatted to potential customers, Jess threw some fantastic pots on the wheel – very impressive – well done Jess!