This 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.
Archive for fired examples
Customers are sometimes surprised at the length of time it takes before they can collect their ceramic masterpieces.
We work on a completion period of one month from day of making.
Most of this time is drying time, dedicated to ensuring the work is bone dry through-out. If you attempt to fire a wet or slightly damp pot, the water in the clay will bubble and steam at 100 degrees on the kiln’s accent to 1000 degrees. As you can probably imagine the boiling water causes catastrophic damage to the clay with objects prone to exploding or splitting apart.
The first firing is called the bisque firing and takes a couple of days. When the pots emerge from the kiln, they have made an irreversible transition. They are now ceramic, but are still quite soft and porous.
The bisque pots are dipped into a bucket of un-melted glass particles in suspension. The glaze particles cling to the surface of the pot forming a layer of powder resembling a heavy frost.
Once the bottoms of the pots have been wiped clear of glaze, they are loaded back into the kiln for a second ‘glaze’ firing. The pots are fired higher this time to a temperature of 1080 degrees Celsius. This allows the glaze particles to melt, forming a smooth glassy surface on top of the ceramic.
Two days later, the finished items are unloaded from the kiln.
Phew! So much process, so much time!
The West Midlands contingent of The National Farmers Union visited the Pottery in October for a spot of team building and creative play. The group spent an hour or so meeting in the Potting Tent (a unique conferencing suite if ever there was one!) before joining us in the studio for the main pottery event.
The group made a ceramic crest, a clay coat of arms depicting agricultural aspects of the five counties. There were two representatives from Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Warwickshire and Staffordshire, each sub-team charged with a separate section of the crest. There was also ample time for everybody to throw a few pots on five potter’s wheels we’d primed for the occasion.
New skills discovered and everybody feeling relaxed and refreshed, the team headed back to their Telford HQ.
Last week we headed into Shropshire to deliver their ceramic masterpiece to be hung in their office – a permanent reminder of what can be achieved through teamwork.
Each pot made on a potter’s wheel by a first time participant is totally unique. The shape is as individual to its maker as their very own fingerprint – everybody holds their hands in a different way.
Once participants have experienced the joys of making a pot, they are offered the opportunity to further individualise their freshly thrown ware by decorating with coloured slips and underglazes.
The variety of approach to colour and theme is awe inspiring. Just take a look at the multitude of effects (and shapes) of these recently fired & glazed customer creations.
Here at Eastnor Pottery, process is king! It’s all about the journey and we greatly value and enjoy observing how our customers and workshop participants engage with the clay and their relationship with environment and individuals around them. That said, we oversee some pretty inspiring and sophisticated end products too!
Check out these ‘book’ tile panels inspired by children’s literature we co-created with Meadows first School in Bromsgrove. We spent x2 industrious days working with the entire school, each child producing a single tile. The tiles have been assembled onto boards and will adorn the front of the school for community and visitors alike to admire when they visit the school.
A similar project with an equally satisfying outcome was the Damson Tree tile panel made with Damson Wood First School in Solihull. This project was initiated to celebrate the schools 50th birthday and the resulting ceramic masterpiece made by the children will hang in the reception hall.