Archive for community workshops

If you walked a mile in my shoes

If I was to name a community arts practitioner who I greatly admire for her work with young people, it has to be artist drama practitioner Toni Cook. Time and time again I’ve witnessed Toni work her magic with groups, using a mix of performance, wit and humility to build massive levels of confidence in the young people.

I’ve been fortunate to have collaborated with Toni on several projects so you can imagine my delight on being invited to work with her again on a project initiated by Hereford Library service and SHYYP – a charity working with young homeless people or those at risk of being made homeless.

Although I only worked two sessions with a small group of young people in Ross on Wye Library, I was so impressed by the group’s creativity and confidence, I found myself, a few weeks later, in the Courtyard Theatre watching a performance by the same young people called ‘If you walked a mile in my shoes’

The moving performance told the individual stories of 14 young people, who shared their own true-life experiences through prose, poetry, songs, rap and film, describing their emotions, questions of identity, making their voice heard and fight for survival.

It was brilliant! A testament, not only to the participant’s bravery but to the skillful facilitation of Toni and the other artists, organisations and youth workers involved. Well done everybody!

tile panel in the shape of a book made by young people from SHYYP at Ross on Wye Library

 

Volunteer power!

MakerShack frontage at Cheltfest

Nearly 10,000 people enjoyed tinkering with materials in The Maker Shack at the Cheltenham Science Festival 2018 – and nearly all of them designed and made a clay tile at the Eastnor Pottery station!

It was the second year running Olivia Clements requested the services of the Flying Potter so we knew what to expect in terms of sheer volume of participation….and we weren’t disappointed!

The event was exhausting and needed team Eastnor Pottery & The Flying Potter to work shifts. Sarah, Millie and Jon all did a couple of days but all agreed it would have been really, really hard work if it hadn’t been for the brilliant army of volunteer helpers.

Each station was designated a couple of extra hands who once had been briefed on the activity, set about their tasks with enthusiasm, initiative and understanding. They were brilliant!

 

participants display their clay tiles at science festival 2018

mark making in clay at science festivalpublic making clay tiles at cheltenham science festivalclay tiles at cheltenham science festival makershack waiting to be collected

Mammoth project

Collaborative terracotta mammoth made by families at WM&AG and Eastnor PotteryThis rather striking terracotta mammoth was made by Jon the Potter at Worcester Museum and Art Gallery. Families were invited to drop by and help make the ice age beast as part of an exciting year long project called Lost Landscapes of Worcestershire. The project culminates in the summer of 2018 with an exhibition at both the Museum in Forgate Street and The Hive.

Nursery tree

arranging ceramic tiles at eastnor pottery

Our lovely community arts apprentices Aimme and Immy working with Sarah on the final touches of a stunning tile panel made by children, parents and staff at Washwood Heath Nursery School in Birmingham.

Although the practical sessions are of paramount importance and integral to our practice, it’s worth pointing out the value of preparation and after-care we attach to every project.

We reckon for every minute spent working with somebody hands-on, there is at least a minute of preparation and after-care.

This collaboration will be hung on the outside wall of the new Clover Lea Annex building designed for the provision of the under 2’s.

Sisters are doing clay

Local WI make pottery coil pots and potter's wheel pots at Eastnor Pottery We’ve entertained a few WI groups at the Pottery recently.

Groups of 10 or 12 women have visited the studio in the Autumnal gloom to get creative with clay.

These ladies from West Malvern WI were the latest group to visit on Wednesday evening to make coil pots and each take a turn on the potter’s wheel. Most of them had never experienced the potter’s wheel or even touched clay since leaving school.

They had a great time and were positively beaming at their pottery achievements. Well done ladies!

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