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childrens hands in wet squidgy clay at cheltenham science festival 2019

childrens hands in wet squidgy clay at cheltenham science festival 2019Under normal circumstances (remember them!?) we’d have been up to our eyeballs in clay at the brilliant Maker Shack as part of Cheltenham Science Festival.

We’ve been involved in the Makershack since its inauguration in 2017. Last 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 2021.

clay pot in the hand made at eastnor pottery

sarah monk from eastnor pottery in the gardenWe are so fortunate here at Eastnor Pottery to be blessed with lots of outside space.

Once we start back on 1st July and weather permitting, we’ll be hosting many of our Introduction to the Potter’s Wheel Classes on the pottery lawn or in the ‘Potting Tent’ marquee.

Now taking bookings on 01531 633886 or email admin@eastnorpottery.co.uk

We look forward to hearing from you! :)

clay pot in the hand made at eastnor potterypotters hands at eastnor potteryclay pots drying in the potting tent marquee at eastnor pottery

clay pot on a potters wheel at eastnor pottery and the flying potter

happy customer leaves a lovely review of her pottery courses at eastnor potteryBIG Thank you to all our lovely customers who have reviewed us on TripAdvisor over the past months and years.

It really makes a huge difference to a small business like ourselves, particularly in these challenging times and we are eternally grateful for your effort.

Just before lockdown Nicola was one of eight individuals who participated on our Weekend Potter’s Wheel Course. Here’s what she had to say about the experience:

I have just returned from a two day course at Eastnor. The location was easy to find and facilities were great. I was part of a group of eight people, some of whom were returning but others complete novices. The group was friendly as were the tutors. We all received plenty of attention and learned a lot and also had great fun. We were encouraged to be bold and creative. I would have no hesitation in recommending the course to anyone. I thoroughly enjoyed it- the time went way too quickly 😀

Don’t just take Nicola’s word for it, please take a look at our TripAdvisor page for lots more fantastic and complimentary customer reviews.

clay pot on a potters wheel at eastnor pottery and the flying potter

slipware pottery rabbit made by sarah monk from eastnor pottery herefordshire for easter bunny trail at puzzlewood

terracotta bunny rabbitt made by ceramic artist jon williams from eastnor potteryslipware pottery rabbit made by sarah monk from eastnor pottery herefordshire for easter bunny trail at puzzlewoodMaking ceramic bunnies is not Sarah and Jon’s usual bag, but when, Puzzle Wood asked Eastnor Pottery’s co-directors to take part in a Great Pottery Rabbit trail, they couldn’t resist the challenge!

Puzzle Wood is a magical ancient woodland in the Forest of Dean. It’s a great place to explore with the kids, as Sarah and Jon have done many times with their own children. It’s also a popular and famous TV and film location – Star Wars and Doctor Who to name but two!

All the local Potteries and Makers in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley were invited to make a ceramic rabbit to be hidden in Puzzlewood over the usually busy Easter weekend.

The Eastnor Potters started making their contributions back in February. Sarah decided to hand coil hers – a technique she hadn’t used for over 20 years, as she thought it would be fun to do something different. She used terracotta clay because of its deep, earthy colour fitting for a rich, earthy forest environment. Once built, she covered the whole rabbit in white slip and scratched simplified flowers into the surface. She then added splats of cobalt blue achieving a classic blue & white ceramic effect.

Jon chose to assemble his bunny from eight separate throw sections made on the potter’s wheel. He too used terracotta clay but didn’t add colour or glaze, opting instead for the natural colour of the fired terracotta.

Unfortunately because of COVID-19, Puzzle Wood remained closed to the public over Easter. Undeterred, they published The Great Puzzlewood Pottery Easter Trail online as a colouring competition instead. Participants could download line drawings of each bunny (different one each day) colour them in and submit them for judging. Some of the marvelous entries can be seen on Puzzlewood’s social media. Check out their TwitterFacebook and Instagram feeds.

Ceramic easter bunny colouring competition by puzzlewood gloucestershire

 

potters wheel fun in herefordshire

have a go on the potter's wheel is hilarious fun at eastnor potteryHurrah! its Hey Clay this weekend – a brilliant 3 day event organised by the Crafts Council and run during the Get Creative Festival to encourage the general public to make pottery.

hey clay participant makes a pot at eastnor pottery as part of free hey clay eventyoung potter proud of her pot at eastnor pottery and the flying potter taking part in hey clay 2019thumbs up from hey clay participant at eastnor pottery and the flying potterIt’s an annual celebration and we’ve taken part in every one since it’s inception in 2015, offering participants the opportunity to make a pot on the potter’s wheel for FREE!

It’s also a well publicised campaign and as you can probably imagine, we are (usually) inundated with punters – making it one of our busiest weekends of the year.

Although COVID-19 has put pay to the participatory aspect here at the studio, Hey Clay 2020 is still going ahead across all the social media platforms. They’ll be how to do videos, online chat and virtual studio tours from participating venues. Rest assured we’ll be contributing live feed and tutorials through-out. Check out:

Twitter – @CraftsCouncilUK

Facebook – @CraftsCouncilUK

Instagram – @CraftsCouncil

Contribute and search for these hashtags: #HeyClay #GetCreativeAtHome

I’m sure HeyClay will be back, stronger than ever, in its traditional format next year. In the meantime and to whet your appetite, here’s a couple of links to the FREE potter’s wheel fun we’ve had in previous years.

Hey Clay 2017

Hey Clay 2019

#getcreativeathome offers a wide range of tutorials and content online so you can get creative in lockdown. We have x3 ‘how to’ videos up there too:

How to make a pottery fish.

How to make a pottery owl.

How to make a pot on the potter’s wheel.