kingsland primary school tile panel made by the school and jon the potter from eastnor potterykingsland primary school tile panel made by the school and jon the potter from eastnor potteryBack in September 2010, I spent a day working with all the children and staff at Kingsland Primary School in Herefordshire. They created a fabulous ‘values’ tile panel to be installed in the school reception.

A few days ago the head sent me some photos from the grand unveiling of the works before the school broke up for the summer hols. The staff, children, parents and governors are extremely pleased with the outcome and I’m sure you’ll agree the piece looks stunning.

The headteacher has prepared a press release describing some of the elements of the project:

Putting on clothes that will never be out of fashion at Kingsland CE Primary School

Visitors to this popular Voluntary Aided Church School will be welcomed by a new Christian values pottery that adorns the entrance porch.    It was inspired by verses from Colossians Chapter 3 in the Bible, ‘Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, patience ….’   Each child created a tile when Jon, the ‘Flying Potter’ from Eastnor spent a day in the school, Every image or word depicts a personal understanding of the values found in these wonderful verses. Ned, Year 3, explained that his tile has juggling balls on it because that is when he feels really joyful.   ‘Together the tiles symbolise the great beauty and meaning in life as we bring our talents and ideas together.  It is a representation of the Christian values that we hope are the hallmark of life shared together in Kingsland Church of England School, ‘said the school’s headteacher, Angela Daniel.  The school takes a particular value each month and time is given to unpacking and exploring in the meaning of that value in daily Worship Times and in the classrooms. These values are the basis of the school’s policy and are the reference for conduct and behaviour.  

The pottery which is full of symbolism shows the values pouring from a jug with the verses as the source.  The values clothe the world pulling together people as in a jigsaw puzzle and go splashing on forever.  The rainbow is a reminder that our Christian values help us in the sunshine and storms of life.

The pottery was blessed in a special service at the end of term lead by the present  Rector of Kingsland, Rob Taylor and the previous Rector, Nigella Tyson.  Every member of the school community was given a bookmark with the verses from Colossians written on as well as a small photograph of the pottery to treasure.

pottery for children led by jon the potter from eastnor pottery & the flying potterLottie & myself spent three lovely days working with a group of children near Goodrich Castle on the banks of the river Wye.

The group sessions had been organised by a mum who was keen for her two daughters and their friends to try something creative during the summer hols.

Each day we tackled a different clay making technique including the potter’s wheel, pinch-pot, coil pot and slab work. The children made some fabulous things which will be fired and glazed back at Eastnor Pottery.

We intend to publish photos of the brilliant things the children made in the next few days. Watch this space!

We’ve created a photo album recording the three sessions of pottery fun.

potter's wheel workshop at eastnor pottery led by jon williams

Hurry hurry hurry, we still have a couple of spaces availible on our weekend potter’s wheel workshop taking place 10 & 11 Sept 2011. Places cost £190 including lunch, refreshments and all the materials you are likely to use. Please email or tel: 01531 633886 to secure your place.

“A chilled time at Eastnor Pottery! I’ve just returned from a really enjoyable and relaxing two day weekend workshop at Eastnor Pottery. Being a novice at throwing pots, I found Jon was a great teacher by showing us, with lots of patience, the techniques to produce a selection of recognisable vessels which were then decorated on the second day of the workshop. There was no rush and we could work at our own pace. It was also the chance to meet and chat to some lovely people. We were all hooked and want to do more! “ Nathan

children's pottery workshops in 1/2 term at Eastnor Pottery, HerefordshireCreepy castles and haunted houses provide the ghostly inspiration for our children’s workshop sessions in the autumn half term 2011.

Dates: 26 & 27 Oct. Tel: 01531 633886 or to book your place.

Children’s workshops info

jon the potter's broken potMany of you who I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 15 years will have come across my ‘stripy doughnut bottle’ (I regularly use the piece to introduce my work and sources of inspiration.)

Sadly, this week saw the demise of ‘SDB’ – it just rolled off my trolley as I was hauling kit towards the flying potter van.

It wasn’t the first time the piece had been in the wars. In 2005 the pot toppled over in a school and broke in two – fortunately, on that occasion, the clean break was remedied with a blob of no more nails. Not so lucky this time!

After I had gotten over the initial horror, I was slowly filled with a sense of relief – how many years had I been upholding that piece as an example of my ceramic practice? I have plenty of new & improved pots, much more illustrative of current preocupations.

In a way the breakage was an overdue release from the ghosts of yester year’s pots!