Our lovely community arts apprentices Aimme and Immy working with Sarah on the final touches of a stunning tile panel made by children, parents and staff at Washwood Heath Nursery School in Birmingham.
Although the practical sessions are of paramount importance and integral to our practice, it’s worth pointing out the value of preparation and after-care we attach to every project.
We reckon for every minute spent working with somebody hands-on, there is at least a minute of preparation and after-care.
This collaboration will be hung on the outside wall of the new Clover Lea Annex building designed for the provision of the under 2’s.
Here 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.
A 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.
This jurasic clay creation was made by a pupil from a reception class at Woodlands Infants School, Shirley in Solihull.
The #stegosaurus has been bisque fired and dipped in glaze, awaiting to have it’s feet wiped before its packed into the kiln for a second glaze firing. All the ‘white stuff’ will melt at 1080 degrees to form a smooth glassy surface revealing green, terracotta and sandstone colours.
Bisque fired dinosaurs waiting to be glazed and fired.
Great to be back at Ledbury Primary School Nursery working with the youngest and most creative pottery participants.
Every year we take bags of squishy clay, tools and a potter’s wheel into LPS Nursery to explore language and communication whilst working with clay. Parents too are invited into school to work alongside their children.
Here’s what one parent (Joe’s mum!) had to say about the projec: (text taken from a pamphlet produced by the school)
“It gave me a real insight into understanding how the Early Years works. As parents we had the oportunity to communicate with our children in an inspiring setting with a good role model, Jon the Potter. The project just enchanced the wonderful work Rose already does in Nursery. I was also amazed at how much knowledge Joe had about pottery. As parents we don’t realise how much they are learning. It also gave parents who wern’t so confident in coming into school the opportunity to build relationships with staff in the Nursery. It was great when Joe brought his pot home and was really proud of his work.”
The project has been so succesful at LPS that it’s been rolled out into other settings. During the Summer term we worked with the Nursery class at Cradley Primary School and this Autumn we have just completed a six week block at Ledbury Play Station.
One of the Early Years settings I visit on a regular basis is Brearley & Teviot Nursery and Children’s Centre in Birmingham.
At the beginning of each academic year and before the children start, I’m called upon to deliver a series of training and teambuilding sessions for staff. In 2014 we produced this amazing rainbow tile panel designed and executed by the team and each tile representing a member of staff.
More recently, I worked with the children to re-build this magnificent bread oven after it had taken a bit of a bashing over the Summer break. Each day, groups of pupils from all four classes visited me on site to help with the construction. A very messy and invaluable experience with lots of lovely language and communication emerging.
Here’s a selection of comments from the children:
“We’re building a mountain”
“I cant roll it it’s too sticky”
“My hands are stuck”
“This clay is soft”
I’ve made a big rock”
“I have play dough in my home – I make waffles”