Jon worked with the two Reception classes at Woodlands Infant School in Shirley earlier this week. The four and five year old pupils have been studying dinosaurs as part of their learning and were really really excited about making their own pottery creation.
Making clay dinosaurs has to be one of our favourite themes of all time. Probably, in part something to do with our son’s obsession with all things Jurassic when he was a youngster.
The children used the simple technique of sticking two pinch-pot bowls together to make a hollow structure. Next they fashioned their hollow ball, without breaking the seal into a dinosaur of their choosing, using an additional lump of clay to make legs, spikes, horns etc.
As well as learning new clay skills the children also used lots of new words and vocabulary to express what they were doing. Here are just a few snippets of conversation with their teacher after they had completed the activity:
“I was going to make a T-Rex but I changing my mind. The Slytherin [painted slip!] was the best bit – it makes it look shiny”
“I made a T-Rex, I made the mouth wider”
“I was squeezingly it carefully so it didn’t burst – I stroked it and it sticks”
“It stayed brown when I put it [green slip] over the top”
“I found it easy doing the body. I made the tail a bit lumpy and a bit short”
“I made a theradactile it had wings – I rolled them”
“I cant really spin it with my finger [making the thumb pot] if it didn’t have a hole it would explode”
“The spikes was tricky, I tried to flatten it and stick it on”
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.