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clay castle made from individual bricks made at the cheltenham science festival by lots of families and school children

families making clay bricks in the makershack at cheltenham science festival 2019

It was fab to be back at the Cheltenham Science Festival last month.

We’ve been involved in the Makershack since its inauguration in 2017. This year we encouraged visitors to make a press molded brick, using real brick clay from Coleford Brick and Tile Company based in the Forest of Dean.

The bricks were assembled into a giant castle and we worked with nearly 10,000 people over the x6 days of the festival! – that’s a shed load of bricks! The sheer volume of visitors meant we had to build a fresh structure each day, deconstructing the building at the close and re-claiming the material for the next morning.

Athough the Makershack was primarily aimed at Primary school aged students – (and man, there must have been very few Gloucestershire schools who didn’t visit the show), on Friday night grown-ups got to play with the technology in a special after-hours session between 8pm and 10pm.

Although it’s full-on, we love the #makershack and look forward to sharing the scientific benefits of engaging with clay, with festival visitors in 2020.clay castle made from individual bricks made at the cheltenham science festival by lots of families and school children

school children enjoying hands on making clay bricks at cheltenham science festival 2019

Hereford YR10 work experience placement at Eastnor PotteryWe are firmly committed to offering young people opportunities to develop their life skills and creativity.

Each year we welcome to the Pottery at least one or two YR10 students from local high schools, looking to experience what it’s like to be a creative practitioner. This year we were joined by Naima from Bishop of Hereford’s Bluecoat School.

Naima packed kilns, wrapped customers work and helped with the day to day running of the studio. She approached her tasks with maturity and willingness enabling us to offer her more and more responsibility as the week progressed. The placement culminated with Naima coaching teachers and educationalists on how to use the potter’s wheel at an Artists in Education event in Birmingham!

Well done Naima and we look forward to seeing how your career in the creative industries develops.

Eastnor Pottery offers YR10 work experience placements to local high schools

 

terracotta koi carp made by Regency High School and Eastnor PotteryJon entered Regency High School, Worcester on a mission to help students and staff make a shoal of terracotta clay fish.

They managed to construct five Koi Carp, Jon working with each class for an hour or so. Although the fish looked amazing and everybody was proud of their collaborative efforts, Jon was even more excited about the clay work produced by the students who approached the making of scales in their own, unique way.

“I’m continually staggered by the variety of new and creative approaches to clay innovated by adults and children with Special Educational Needs or disabilities. You think you’ve seen it all and then somebody does something with the material you’ve never seen before – amazing and inspiring!”

clay fish scale made by student at Regency High School in Worcester

Sarah Williams works with student from Alderman Knight Special School at Eastnor PotteryClay is such an accessible material, whatever your age or ability you can make your mark.

Its universal appeal makes it an excellent material for children with additional educational needs to work with and express themselves.

In the week leading up to half term we were fortunate to welcome students from two local special schools to our studio.

Sarah has been working with Alderman Knight School in Tewkesbury to create a Cheshire Cat tile panel and although most of her sessions have taken place at school, staff agreed it would be beneficial for the students to create some of the tiles at Eastnor Pottery.

Two days later we entertained students from The Vale of Evesham School. Each year Ms Barton drives her class of between 10-14 students over the boarder to make coil pot mugs with us. These are then fired, glazed and collected by the whole class in time for Mother’s Day – the perfect handmade gift.

Students and staff from Alderman Knight School visit Eastnor Pottery to work on Cheshire Cat tile panel clay snake made by Alderman Knight student