Over 2000 visitors a day made their way to Hampton Court, near Leominster, to sample a multitude of outdoor activities at the University of the Great Outdoors, (an event organised by Hereford Council). We had four wheels available for people to have a go on, and ran taster sessions throughout the weekend. Elliot, aged 8, gives it a spin!
Another of my long standing clients, is the Three Counties Agricultural Society. Every year, I provide clay based workshops for their three main events, (Spring Gardening, Three Counties, and Autumn Gardening Shows).
This year at the Spring Gardening Show, I vacated the relative warmth/roof over my head of the Severn Hall, and worked instead in the permanent Learning Garden. I spent three muddy days creating a large earth sofa, accosting passers by, or thrusting a lump of soggy cob onto their hands and getting them to hurl it at the structure. This one’s going to be sewn with wild flower seeds.
One of the things I really cherish about working with the staff at Evesham Nursery, is their willingness to allow me to experiment with new ideas. I’d never made a clay bread oven before, but having expressed an interest in building one, the head embraced the idea with enthusiasm. So it was I spent two fabulous spring days with the children in the Nursery’s forest school, digging earth, mixing cob, shaping bricks and generally having a messy nice time!
On day two we lit small fires in the oven to help dry it out. Whilst the oven smoked quietly, we built another fire in base camp, and smoke fired some of the pots the children had made previously on the potter’s wheel…and some people have to work for a living!
This time Jon worked with a gang of students from John Masefield High School, to produce this fantastic piece of earth furniture. It was built in situ at Ledbury Youth Centre in their magnificent garden. The sofa is planted with grass seed, which will have sprouted and spread to produce a lush turf finish- all in time for Ledbury in Bloom.
The studio was well populated last weekend as no less than 10 guests enjoyed a mixture of throwing and handbuilding on our April weekend workshop. Seven wheels a whirling.One of the youngest participants we’ve ever had on our weekend potter’s wheel workshops. Paige grasped the technique very early on and threw some amazing shapes- a glittering career in clay awaits for sure, if it’s something she wants to do!Hannah, Claire and Michelle, all previous potter’s wheel workshop veterans, returned on Saturday to try their hands at handbuilding. The girls coiled a terracotta owl each for their gardens which will be ready in a few weeks time.