Archive for early years

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

Artist practitioners network


Arts week at Brockhampton Primary School near Bromyard is a busy and creative time with the school employing a host of creative practitioners to work their magic with mixed age groups of children. It was a great opportunity to network with other artists and catch-up with old friends.

Megan Evans is an environmentally aware print maker whose work with young people I’ve admired for some time. Although we’d been employed on the same projects in the past, we hadn’t had the opportunity to put a face to the emails and phone conversations until Brockhampton.

Felicity O’ Neill is a teacher turned artist practitioner who is destined to set the world of participatory arts alight with her well prepared & researched visual arts projects. I loved the janga janga inspired paintings the children made just as much as they obviously enjoyed painting them.

It just so happened Nortonwoods were at the school putting the finishing touches to an inspiring and amazing outside area including a giant crooked house, old fashioned sweet shop and barbecue shack – all lovingly constructed from recycled and reclaimed timber and materials. (above) What a fantastic learning space to fire the imagination!

Well done Brockhampton for its commitment to the creative arts and outside learning.

The international language of clay

Lugwardine primary school logoThe Flying Potter landed at Lugwardine Primary School near Hereford just before the Easter break.

The school was celebrating all things arty and crafty in their annual arts week and pottery was just one of many art forms the children were encouraged to engage with over the five days.

Each year group was given a different country to inspire their clay work with each class making a collaborative terracotta planter encrusted with decoration associated with their assigned country. The Sydney Opera House on the Australian vessel was a particular stroke of genius!

The pots have been dried and fired at Eastnor Pottery HQ and returned to the school to take up permanent residence in their new sensory garden.

We didn’t manage to get a photo of the x7 finished terracotta pots before we delivered them (doh!) but…. they posted a lovely photo of the pots freshly made on their website:

x7 terracotta collaborative pots made by the whole of Lugwardine Primary School

 

 

Praise indeed

collaborative planters made by bishops cleeve primary school and eastnor pottery and the flying potter

We’ve worked with Bishops Cleeve Primary School for a number of years producing quality, collaborative ceramic masterpieces, most of which are proudly displayed through-out the school.

We thoroughly enjoy our visits and it appears the school do too! Here’s what Arts Development Officer Mrs Parks has to say about our relationship:

“Always polite and puts all at ease whether paid teaching staff, classroom assistants or the unpaid voluntary helpers who make such a difference to the children’s experience of clay. Jon is always totally responsive to ideas and suggestions from the teacher planning the day and he or his friendly & helpful staff, respond promptly and enthusiastically to all the administrative details that schools need.

Jon’s encouragement and gentle, open manner with the children never fails to put all at their ease and get the best outcomes possible.

They love his sense of fun and even the teachers forgave him his jokes! It is always evident that Jon has a wealth of experience working with children of all abilities and he seems to have an intuitive feeling for the best approaches to take with each individual. His enthusiasm is infectious and our children gain valuable memories or working with a professional artist who is happy to share his skills and passion for all things muddy!

It exceeded my expectation as the children were more original and Jon’s demonstration of different ways of forming the animals and borders were so clear that all the children had a range of choices to make and were able to adapt the techniques shown to suit their animal and their own ability.

I just know the highlight hasn’t happened yet…it is the moment that the children see their fired pieces and those wide eyes and happy faces make it all worth while!”

Mrs Parkes is also an extremely talented maker in her own right. Examples of her work can be seen here.

Superhero!

Superhero poster children's pottery session 30-5-18Children’s Pottery sessions in half term. Wed 30 May 2018

We are delighted to announce details of our fun and creative children’s workshop sessions scheduled for the approaching half term holiday.

Superhero is the exciting and inspirational theme.

It doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll be encouraging the children to make Marvel Comic inspired characters (although who can fail to be impressed by the powers of Ironman or The Hulk!) We’ll also be encouraging the young clay enthusiasts to consider Superheros closer to home. We’re thinking mums, dads, grandparents, teachers or some other figure they admire or look up to.

Once the children have modelled their superheros using a range of pottery making techniques, they will have the opportunity to paint their creations, there and then with coloured slips and underglazes.

The resulting work will need to dry thoroughly before it can be fired in the kiln. We allow approximately one month for this process and details of collection times will be issued on the day of the workshop.

1.5 hr sessions commence at 11.30am and 2pm and are tailored for two age groups: 4-8yrs in the morning and 9-12yrs in the afternoon. Although, these age ranges are not strictly adhered to as younger and older siblings are always welcome to participate on either session.

Places cost £15 per head with a 10% discount for x3 or more places booked. Telephone and email booking essential: Tel: 01531 633886 e: admin@eastnorpottery.co.uk

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