childrens hands in wet squidgy clay at cheltenham science festival 2019

childrens hands in wet squidgy clay at cheltenham science festival 2019Under normal circumstances (remember them!?) we’d have been up to our eyeballs in clay at the brilliant Maker Shack as part of Cheltenham Science Festival.

We’ve been involved in the Makershack since its inauguration in 2017. Last 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 2021.

ceramic artists jon williams and sarah monk take part in the digital hey clay festival 2020
ceramic artists jon williams and sarah monk take part in the digital hey clay festival 2020
This is the 6th time we’ve been involved with this fabulous FREE event and usually we’re full to the rafters with lovely people having loads of fun on the potter’s wheel. As we’re not re-opening to the public until 1st July, we’ll be celebrating HeyClay by hosting live tutorials, studio tours and insights into our making across our social media. Here’s a timetable of LIVE events here at Eastnor Pottery and the Flying Potter:

Friday 15th May 2020

11am     Studio Tour (Insta) 😍
1pm      Throwing a pot with Jon Williams (Insta)🤩

Saturday 16th May 2020

10am     Studio Tour (Facebook)😍
11am      Throwing a pot with Sarah Monk (Insta)🤩
1pm       How to make a donut with Jon Williams (Facebook) 🍩
2pm       How to make a soap dish with Sarah Monk 🧼

We hope to see you there! 😀🌈

potters wheel fun in herefordshire

have a go on the potter's wheel is hilarious fun at eastnor potteryHurrah! its Hey Clay this weekend – a brilliant 3 day event organised by the Crafts Council and run during the Get Creative Festival to encourage the general public to make pottery.

hey clay participant makes a pot at eastnor pottery as part of free hey clay eventyoung potter proud of her pot at eastnor pottery and the flying potter taking part in hey clay 2019thumbs up from hey clay participant at eastnor pottery and the flying potterIt’s an annual celebration and we’ve taken part in every one since it’s inception in 2015, offering participants the opportunity to make a pot on the potter’s wheel for FREE!

It’s also a well publicised campaign and as you can probably imagine, we are (usually) inundated with punters – making it one of our busiest weekends of the year.

Although COVID-19 has put pay to the participatory aspect here at the studio, Hey Clay 2020 is still going ahead across all the social media platforms. They’ll be how to do videos, online chat and virtual studio tours from participating venues. Rest assured we’ll be contributing live feed and tutorials through-out. Check out:

Twitter – @CraftsCouncilUK

Facebook – @CraftsCouncilUK

Instagram – @CraftsCouncil

Contribute and search for these hashtags: #HeyClay #GetCreativeAtHome

I’m sure HeyClay will be back, stronger than ever, in its traditional format next year. In the meantime and to whet your appetite, here’s a couple of links to the FREE potter’s wheel fun we’ve had in previous years.

Hey Clay 2017

Hey Clay 2019

#getcreativeathome offers a wide range of tutorials and content online so you can get creative in lockdown. We have x3 ‘how to’ videos up there too:

How to make a pottery fish.

How to make a pottery owl.

How to make a pot on the potter’s wheel.

 

amputee chris trys pottery at eastnor pottery and the flying potter

amputee chris trys pottery at eastnor pottery and the flying potter

BLESMA magazine for serving and ex service men and women who have lost limbs and eye sightSay hello to Chris!

Chris joined us at the Pottery in January as a participant of an outreach session organised by BLESMA , an Armed Forces Charity set up to support serving & ex-service men & women who have suffered limb loss, sight loss and other life changing injuries.

He’d first tried pottery 30 years ago and after making and decorating a breakfast bowl on the wheel with us, he’s considering taking it up as a hobby!

When he collected his pot just prior to lock-down, he brought along a copy of the charity’s magazine – and guess who’s featured!?

Well done Chris 👍 What a lovely article!

clay bricks made at national trust berrington hall with jon the potter from eastnor pottery

flying potter at national trust brockhampton herefordshire

Ashamed to say we’ve been in Herefordshire 25 years and until recently, hadn’t managed to visit either Brockhampton and Berrington Hall, two of the counties esteemed National Trust properties.

We certainly put this to right this Summer! With-in the space of a week in July, we facilitated clay workshops at both properties!

On Saturday 13 July visitors to the Brockhampton Estate were able to throw a pot on the potter’s wheel amongst the mature apple trees in the orchard. We were there as part of a ‘Fun for all’ community event hosted by National Trust Brockhampton as part of their exciting Reimagining Orchard project.

The following Saturday we appeared at Berrington Hall near Leominster. We set up stall in the famous curved wall garden and made mini clay bricks. Participants made two bricks each – one to take away and another to be fired and installed as an interactive ceramic piece at Berrington.

There are exciting times ahead at both sites as each has ambitious plans to develop their outside spaces and enhance the visitor experience.

clay bricks made at national trust berrington hall with jon the potter from eastnor pottery