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iron age clay round house made by yr4 at finstall first school and jon the potter

collaborative totem pole sections made by jon the potter from eastnor pottery and meadows first school

Spent the week before the October half term heading North up the M5 into Bromsgrove, where I had the pleasure and privilege working with children and staff at two of the town’s First Schools.

Monday and Tuesday were spent at Meadows First School working on a whole school project making a ‘Well Being’ totem pole. Once it’s fired, the terracotta sculpture will be installed in the school’s well being garden in the school grounds.

clay totem pole made on one of the flying potter's visit to meadows first school in bromsgrove

Although the project was a collaborative one with each child in the school contributing to the whole, it didn’t stop a YR2 pupil designing and making her own personal interpretation:

On Wednesday I headed across town at Finstall First School making Iron Age houses with YR4 and oak leaf tiles with Reception class.

iron age clay round house made by yr4 at finstall first school and jon the potter

I’ve worked with both schools over a number of years and have become a regular activity at both. I love my visits to the Bromsgrove schools and sometimes get to encounter the same children. It’s great to see they develop their ideas and creativity year on year.

Pottery mans face made by a customer at Eastnor Pottery & The Flying PotterWe usually start a session in a school with a discussion about the many uses of clay and pottery. When posed with the question “what objects do you think of when you think of pottery?” the children’s answers are predictable – mugs, cups, plates, bowls…. etc. Not so at Finstall First School in Bromsgrove! A YR4 had us in stitches with his answer “old people!” lol

Some stereo types are so deeply ingrained!

gruffalo tile panel created by pupils at meadows first school in bromsgroveHere at Eastnor Pottery, process is king! It’s all about the journey and we greatly value and enjoy observing how our customers and workshop participants engage with the clay and their relationship with environment and individuals around them. That said, we oversee some pretty inspiring and sophisticated end products too!

Check out these ‘book’ tile panels inspired by children’s literature we co-created with Meadows first School in Bromsgrove. We spent x2 industrious days working with the entire school, each child producing a single tile. The tiles have been assembled onto boards and will adorn the front of the school for community and visitors alike to admire when they visit the school.

ceramic tile project with bromsgrove infants school meadows infant school with jon the potter from Eastnor PotteryA similar project with an equally satisfying outcome was the Damson Tree tile panel made with Damson Wood First School in Solihull. This project was initiated to celebrate the schools 50th birthday and the resulting ceramic masterpiece made by the children will hang in the reception hall.

gruffalo tile panel made by meadows first school and jon the potter from eastnor pottery and the flying potterWe are currently in the midst of a HUGE tile panel project with Meadows First School in Bromsgrove. We are working with the whole school to produce no less than six separate panels, each one made by a different year group, each one depicting a different children’s book character:

Nursery= Elmer the patchwork elephant

Reception = The Gruffalo

Year 1 = The Tiger from The tiger who came to Tea

Year 2 = Winnie the Witch

Year 3 = The BFG

Year 4 = George from George’s Marvellous Medicine – another Roald Dahl Book

We’ve done two days of workshops in school, brilliantly assisted  by x4 YR8 students from neighboring Parkside Middle School (they really were very helpful indeed!)

All the tiles have been created and are currently drying out ready for their bisque and glaze firing. Once they have emerged from the kiln we’ll mount them onto boards and get them photographed and up on the blog.

Artrix Arts Centre hosted an Eastnor Pottery workshop for children to produce terracotta film star sculpturesJust one of many clay sculptures made by young visitors to Artrix Arts Centre in Bromsgrove when Jon the Potter dropped by for a day of pottery fun. The children’s pottery workshop event was part of the Theatre’s Festival of Family Fun 2016 inspired by the movies.

We attempted to photograph everybody’s clay creation before ethey took them home to paint. The results of which can be viewed on our Facebook page.