clay owl made with a bag of clay by jon from eastnor pottery and the flying potter

albert the albatross stuffed bird at worcester art gallery and museum

We always enjoy a clay sesh at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum, especially as we get to see our old friend Albert the Albatross!

Albert was presented to the city’s museum collection in 1902 by a Mr Percy Pryce Brown, a refrigerator engineer aboard RMS Waimate! The museum curator and top notch taxidermist Mr W. Edwards preserved the bird while a custom-made display case was built by local carpenter W. W. Hunt. Albert has been admired by museum visitors for over a hundred years and is currently displayed in the activities room….which is where we get to work with pottery participants of all ages and abilities.

This time, Jon worked with a group of youngsters from a local nursery school exploring clay on the tables and potter’s wheel. Everybody had a fantastic time and the session just flew by, almost as quickly as a wondering albatross!

albert the albatross at worcester city art gallery and museumclay owl made with a bag of clay by jon from eastnor pottery and the flying potterclay pot made on potter's wheel by early years childrenclay spider made by child at worcester city art gallerywet pot made on potter's wheel by a very young child at worcester museum

beautifully hand thrown pot made on the potter's wheel and then accidently torn in an artisitic fashion

We love a ‘happy accident’ on our courses and experiences.

A little bit too much pressure here and there and the results are phenomenal!

beautifully hand thrown pot made on the potter's wheel and then accidently torn in an artisitic fashion

If you would like to spend the day or weekend playing with clay and making lots of lovely mistakes like this one, head over to our website page dedicated to our Potter’s Wheel Courses.

These immersive events take place once or twice a month and cost £150 for the day or £280 for the weekend.

pottery courses at eastnor pottery

natural resources for pattern making in clay session with jon the potter from eastnor pottery and the flying potter

textured terracotta tiles made by young children at washwood heath nursery school and jon the potter from eastnor pottery and the flying potterThese amazing terracotta tiles have been made by the talented children at Washwood Heath Nursery School in Birmingham. Although they look rather stunning arranged here on the ground, the tiles form part of a much more ambitious project at the nursery.

Jon the potter worked with artist in residence Claire Witcombe, Nursery staff and of course the children to plan an exciting and inspiring project to introduce aspects of pattern making, surface design and construction. The aim, to create something that would pool the skills and experience of all the collaborators and result in an outcome everybody could enjoy and share – as well as provide the children with an exceptional learning journey along the way.

After much consultation and planning, a shelter proved to be a popular choice with all stakeholders – a structure the children could pass through, play in and around. It was decided the interior space would be protected by hand made roof tiles, co-created by the children in a series of practical workshop sessions.

natural resources for pattern making in clay session with jon the potter from eastnor pottery and the flying potterautumn oak trees in eastnor herefordshire

Natural resources, hand tools and other mark making objects were introduced to the clay table for the children to press and work into the clay. Once they had flattened large lumps of terracotta clay into flat slabs, the children got to work, pressing and rolling the tools and resources into the soft material. They were also encouraged to cut their textured slabs into uniformed shapes by slicing around a template especially prepared for the task. The range of patterns produced, and the degree of exploration was a delight to behold….And as for the sheer number of tiles made – WOW! Proper tile making factory.

pressing oak leaves into clay slab with jon the potter at washwood heath nursery school in birminghamcutting clay tiles at washwood heath nursery school with jon williams from eastnor pottery

table full of mark making materials and clay at a creative session led by Jon Williams the flying potter at washwood heath nursery school in birminghamThe 100 tiles have all been fired and ready for dispatch! The baton now passes to Claire who will enable the children to build the main structure from recycled pallets and boards. The roof tiles will be added later by the children using hammers and nails to hang them on the timber – a traditional and contemporary technique used by roofers in the construction industry all around the world.

The project is a fine example of partnership working and creative collaboration and we all cant wait to see the final piece installed in one of the Nursery’s exterior spaces.

Clay Sculpting

A lot of home-schooling going on at the moment!

Over the years we’ve produced a collection of ‘how to do’ videos.

In an attempt to help educate and ‘entertain’ the nations children, we’ve dusted off a few of the ‘better’ (?) ones to post here on our website.

Here’s the first one on how to make a clay fish. If you don’t have access to clay, why not try using play dough?

Good luck everybody and we’d love to see how you get on. Ping us a pic on Twitter, Face Book or Instagram – make sure you tag us in too! We’re @eastnorpottery on most platforms.

Loads more where this little gem came from! Head on over to our Eastnor Pottery YouTube channel for more epic productions!

clay castle made from individual bricks made at the cheltenham science festival by lots of families and school children

families making clay bricks in the makershack at cheltenham science festival 2019

It was fab to be back at the Cheltenham Science Festival last month.

We’ve been involved in the Makershack since its inauguration in 2017. This year we encouraged visitors to make a press molded brick, using real brick clay from Coleford Brick and Tile Company based in the Forest of Dean.

The bricks were assembled into a giant castle and we worked with nearly 10,000 people over the x6 days of the festival! – that’s a shed load of bricks! The sheer volume of visitors meant we had to build a fresh structure each day, deconstructing the building at the close and re-claiming the material for the next morning.

Athough the Makershack was primarily aimed at Primary school aged students – (and man, there must have been very few Gloucestershire schools who didn’t visit the show), on Friday night grown-ups got to play with the technology in a special after-hours session between 8pm and 10pm.

Although it’s full-on, we love the #makershack and look forward to sharing the scientific benefits of engaging with clay, with festival visitors in 2020.clay castle made from individual bricks made at the cheltenham science festival by lots of families and school children

school children enjoying hands on making clay bricks at cheltenham science festival 2019