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Dinosaur Infant!

Clay dinosaurs made by YR reception at Woodlands Infant School with jon the potter from Eastnor Pottery

Jon worked with the two Reception classes at Woodlands Infant School in Shirley earlier this week. The four and five year old pupils have been studying dinosaurs as part of their learning and were really really excited about making their own pottery creation.

Making clay dinosaurs has to be one of our favourite themes of all time. Probably, in part something to do with our son’s obsession with all things Jurassic when he was a youngster.

The children used the simple technique of sticking two pinch-pot bowls together to make a hollow structure. Next they fashioned their hollow ball, without breaking the seal into a dinosaur of their choosing, using an additional lump of clay to make legs, spikes, horns etc.

As well as learning new clay skills the children also used lots of new words and vocabulary to express what they were doing. Here are just a few snippets of conversation with their teacher after they had completed the activity:

“I was going to make a T-Rex but I changing my mind. The Slytherin [painted slip!] was the best bit – it makes it look shiny”

“I made a T-Rex, I made the mouth wider”

“I was squeezingly it carefully so it didn’t burst – I stroked it and it sticks”

“It stayed brown when I put it [green slip] over the top”

“I found it easy doing the body. I made the tail a bit lumpy and a bit short”

“I made a theradactile it had wings – I rolled them”

“I cant really spin it with my finger [making the thumb pot] if it didn’t have a hole it would explode”

“The spikes was tricky, I tried to flatten it and stick it on”

 

Something fishy going on at St Martins…

tile panel in the shape of a fish

Check out these beautiful River Wye inspired tile panels made with the students at St Martins Primary School in Hereford.

Jon worked with every child in the school at the back end of the Summer term, encouraging them to roll the soft clay to make tiles. Low relief decoration, inspired by their experience of living in Hereford was modeled onto the surface and the whole effect painted with coloured slips.

At the end of the workshop sessions, the individual tiles were transported to the Pottery for drying, firing and glazing. Once out of the kilns the children’s work was assembled into collaborative fish, ducks and swans and finally attached to bespoke painted boards.

The finished panels were delivered to St Martins in October ready for installation on a huge wall above a busy stairwell. As soon as we have a photo we’ll share it right here on our website.

The art of biological science

Pottery team building event at Eastnor Pottery Herefordshire

Staff from the School of Biological Sciences, Bristol University descended on the Pottery in August, (all 18 of them) for a spot of pottery team building.

Participants built a collaborative jug, took turns on eight potter’s wheels and made some intricate pottery models before enjoying a buffet lunch in The Potting Tent Marquee.

If you would like to reward your staff or our planning a unique works away day for your colleagues, please take a look at our page dedicated to team-building.

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

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