Did you know that these gorgeous looking pottery cooking stoves are 40% more fuel efficient than the traditional African method of cooking on an open fire? If more rural africans were encouraged to cook using a clay stove, that’s an awful lot less wood gathering, smoke inhalation, tree cutting, and carbon emissions. Win, win, win, win!!
Hereford based International charity, Concern Universal have employed us at Eastnor Pottery to deliver a series of clay stove workshops to local schools. The sessions are designed to raise awareness of poverty in Malawi and more generally the impact of global warming and how each of us can lessen our carbon footprint.
We collaborated for the first time last week at Broadheath Primary School in Worcestershire. The Yr5 children enjoyed a fun and informative presentation on the environmental and economical benefits of cooking on a clay stove before being given the chance to make their very own, individual model stoves.
We concluded the session by lighting the sample stove in the shade of the schools forest school site and boiling a pan of water over the flames.
I learnt just as much as the children who, as you’d expect, were able to soak up the information and statistics with alarming speed and accuracy.
Cant wait to see how this project grows and develops.
During the month of May, I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of spending 5 days with staff and students at Sunfield School in the West Midlands.
Sunfield is a residential special school supporting young people aged 6-19yrs with severe and complex learning difficulties.
Clay is such a universal and accessible medium no matter what age or ability everybody can leave their mark…and marks were well and truly made on this short clay residency! We smeared squidged and threw our way through bags of the stuff, each student adopting an individual and interesting approach to the material.
As always the potter’s wheel was a firm favourite with some students displaying interest and focus rarely seen in other activities.
We finished the residency off with a celebratory ‘smoke firing’ in the idylic school grounds. This involved building a small fire, stacked with some of the students work they had previously made. Once lit (the risk assessment was a thorough one!) the flames and smoke decorated the vessels leaving gorgeous marks and shades of grey and black (see above photo).
I thoroughly my time at Sunfield and hope to be back there again soon.
The sun really did shine down on Washwood Nursery School this week and although we’d planned lots of exciting clay activities in the classroom, it was no match for the fantastic weather. Naturaly, and quite right too, all the young people headed for the door as soon as it was free flow.
If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad and as a champion of fresh air clay exploration, I decided to join them.
We squashed the clay into and onto all sorts of surfaces collecting marks and textures on biscuit sized slabs – McVities eat your heart out!
Some of the children who usually choose not to engage with the clay in the classroom took great delight in hurling lumps at the ground or using their whole body weight to squash it beneath their elbows – a much more physical and equally valid approach -great stuff!
This magnificent beast will be winging it’s way to the school children who created it.
Earlier this term I worked with the whole of Hesters Way Primary School, each class creating a different terracotta animal to be installed in the School grounds.
Have a look at the butterfly, caterpillar, tortoise, owl and dragon.
Saturday was a busy day on the pottery hen party front. X2 lovely groups enjoyed throwing pots on the potter’s wheel, making coil-pots and generally having a fab and creative time.
The afternoon group decided to split themselves into two teams adding a competitive element to the proceedings – Blondes vrs brunettes. Team Blonde clearly exploding any myths and stereotypes there may have been regarding the fairer haired species!
Photos of all the clay fun can be seen by visiting the links below:
Lorna’s pottery hen party & Lizzie’s pottery hen party
For more details of our pottery hen party packages please take a look here.