Jon recently spent two creative and inspiring days working with the young people at Tettenhall Wood School in Wolverhampton, an educational setting specializing in students with a wide range of autism.
Arts week co-ordinator Maggie had worked with Jon in another SEN school and was keen to introduce her current pupils to the delights of working with clay in an exploratory and open ended fashion.
There were some ceramic outcomes – eg Zurg and Buzz Lightyear beautifully sculpted in a matter of minutes, but on the whole it was all about the potter’s wheel and the fluid, silky consistency of slip and soft clay.
The sessions were gloriously messy and by the end of the day the art room was well and truly splattered, a testament to the enjoyment and enthusiasm in which the students approached the material.
One student was initially unimpressed by the mess and stood a long way from the wheel vocalizing her disapproval at being in the space. Through-out her protest, the individual in question watched the other students take their turn on the wheel and as her mood calmed, she was encouraged to step a little closer. Eventually and with a little more coaxing she was handed a pencil to interact with the spinning clay. She used the pencil to create marks, spirals and swirls before downing the tool and tentatively touching the clay with the tip of her finger. Next thing, both hands were clasped around the lump and a broad smile stretched across her face. All this inside a very short space of time – naught to sixty in 20 minutes!
Look out! there’s something lurking in the rhubarb patch at Kingham Lodge.
These fabulous terracotta creepy crawlies were made by five Oxfordshire primary schools earlier in the year. Jon the Potter was commissioned by Kingham Lodge to co-create the artwork with the children to be exhibited in the Sculpture at Kingham Lodge exhibition He spent a half day in each school working on the collaborative insects.
The schools who took part:
The children’s work can be seen alongside sculpture made by professional artists in the beautiful gardens set in the heart of the Cotswolds. The show runs from Saturday 5th May – Sunday 15th May. Open 10am – 5pm daily.
We recently collaborated with the whole of Broadwas Primary School in Worcestershire to produce this brilliant tile panel interpretation of their school emblem.
Each pupil made an individual tile from soft clay before adding detail and painting in coloured slip.
We transported all 100 tiles back to the Pottery to be fired, glazed and returned to the school for ready for installation earlier this year.
The panel is mounted on the outside of the school near the entrance, welcoming pupils and visitors and serving as an excellent reminder of what can be achieved when everybody works together.
…and, if you study the school’s website banner photo roll for long enough, you’ll see our very own Jon the Potter facilitating a potter’s wheel assembly!
These value oaks were commissioned and made by all the children at Dines Green Primary School in Worcester.
Each child made and painted a pottery leaf based upon one of the six school values. Quite a challenging task to make mini clay decoration symbolising notions of respect, resilience, reflection, curiosity, empathy and honesty!
These three teachers from Dean Close Co-Educational Independent School in Cheltenham came and spent a day with us in November learning about clay and making techniques.
This is what they had to say about their experience:
“We all learnt so much and helped us to reinforce the basics whilst giving us the confidence to pass our knowledge onto the children we teach.
A highlight had to be throwing a pot! We all loved it and can’t wait to get practicing.
Sarah and Jon were so friendly and welcoming and their experience and knowledge was excellent. Thank you both so much.”