herefordshire potter sarah monk hanging her ceramic bug houses at hellens garden festival

Hellens Garden Festival Sculpture Trail – Much Marcle Herefordshire

Eastnor Pottery founders Sarah Monk and Jon Williams currently have some of their own work on show at Hellens Garden Festival Sculpture Trail in Herefordshire.

herefordshire potter sarah monk hanging her ceramic bug houses at hellens garden festival

Sarah is exhibiting a terrace of ‘Bug Houses’ hanging from a particularly striking beech tree in the enchanted wooded gardens. In a career spanning 30 years, this is the first time Sarah has exhibited her work outside in the natural environment. Most of her output is intended to be enjoyed in the home but judging by the positive response to her critter homes, she’ll be making more ceramics designed for the garden. For more details of Sarah’s work please check out her website: www.sarahmonkceramics.co.uk

herefordshire ceramic artist jon williams hanging his percusive ceramic disks at hellens garden festival in herefordshire

Jon has a collection of interactive ‘Ceramic Cymbals’ hanging in the undergrowth. Visitors are invited to scour the woodland for a suitable stick (no branches or hefty timber!) and then ‘gently’ tap out a rhythm on the suspended art works. Jon’s work is designed to be enjoyed using all the senses and he is no stranger to exhibiting his multi-sensory wares at sculpture shows and in exterior settings. Please take a look at www.jonwilliamspottery.co.uk for more details of his work.

The exhibition is open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays 10am – 6pm and runs until the end of September 2020. Entrance is FREE with donations going to St Michaels Hospice and Back To The Wild CIC.

bug houses by herefordshire slipware potter sarah monk at hellens garden festival 2020

musical pottery by herefordshire maker jon williams at hellens sculpture trail 2020

slipware pottery rabbit made by sarah monk from eastnor pottery herefordshire for easter bunny trail at puzzlewood

terracotta bunny rabbitt made by ceramic artist jon williams from eastnor potteryslipware pottery rabbit made by sarah monk from eastnor pottery herefordshire for easter bunny trail at puzzlewoodMaking ceramic bunnies is not Sarah and Jon’s usual bag, but when, Puzzle Wood asked Eastnor Pottery’s co-directors to take part in a Great Pottery Rabbit trail, they couldn’t resist the challenge!

Puzzle Wood is a magical ancient woodland in the Forest of Dean. It’s a great place to explore with the kids, as Sarah and Jon have done many times with their own children. It’s also a popular and famous TV and film location – Star Wars and Doctor Who to name but two!

All the local Potteries and Makers in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley were invited to make a ceramic rabbit to be hidden in Puzzlewood over the usually busy Easter weekend.

The Eastnor Potters started making their contributions back in February. Sarah decided to hand coil hers – a technique she hadn’t used for over 20 years, as she thought it would be fun to do something different. She used terracotta clay because of its deep, earthy colour fitting for a rich, earthy forest environment. Once built, she covered the whole rabbit in white slip and scratched simplified flowers into the surface. She then added splats of cobalt blue achieving a classic blue & white ceramic effect.

Jon chose to assemble his bunny from eight separate throw sections made on the potter’s wheel. He too used terracotta clay but didn’t add colour or glaze, opting instead for the natural colour of the fired terracotta.

Unfortunately because of COVID-19, Puzzle Wood remained closed to the public over Easter. Undeterred, they published The Great Puzzlewood Pottery Easter Trail online as a colouring competition instead. Participants could download line drawings of each bunny (different one each day) colour them in and submit them for judging. Some of the marvelous entries can be seen on Puzzlewood’s social media. Check out their TwitterFacebook and Instagram feeds.

Ceramic easter bunny colouring competition by puzzlewood gloucestershire

 

interactive ceramic fish designed for water play by artist jon williams

Jon’s been busy making new work for an exhibition entitled ‘Making Histories’ scheduled to have opened 20 March 2020 at Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum.

He was one of seven contemporary ceramic artists from the across the Midlands, invited to respond to the Museum’s diverse collection of ceramics. All commissioned artists were to exhibit new work alongside some of the historical objects which inspired them. Then COVID-19 hit!

Needless to say, the Gallery closed and the exhibition cancelled, not before the exhibitions team had spent weeks installing the show.

Undeterred, the team at Leamington have been working incredibly hard to make the exhibition available online. And here it is! – a video complete with commentary by exhibitions curator Lily Crowther.