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clay tiles made by Holy Trinity school and the flying potter from Eastnor

The Summer term in schools is one of the busiest for the Flying Potter.  SATS are done, the sun is out and teachers  are looking to reward their children with creative and fun activities. Little surprise then schools plan their ‘arts week’ for this time of year.

Here are the ceramic results of a couple of  whole school, recent  ‘arts week’ collaborations undertaken in the West Midlands.

collaborative coil made with children from Tividale Primary School and Jon the potter from eastnor pottery and the flying potter

One of x6 collaborative terracotta planters at Tividale Primary School Sandwell.

clay tiles made by Holy Trinity school and the flying potter from Eastnor

Tile panel at Holy Trinity Primary School Sandwell

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

arranging ceramic tiles at eastnor pottery

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.

We’ve been busy of late transporting clay, tools and Flying Potter magic to educational settings all over the West Midlands.

During the first part of the Autumn term we worked with the following schools, exploring a range of curricular themes and topics in clay.

Pottery night light lanterns made by Suckley Primary School and Jon the potter from Eastnor Pottery & The Flying Potter

‘Secret Garden’ inspired outdoor terracotta sculpture at Suckley Primary.

Tile panel made by all the children at Broadwas Primary School

Whole school tile panel in the shape of school logo at Broadwas Primary.

Pottery owl babies made by nursery and Reception aged children from Old Church Primary School Darlaston

Individual ‘Owl Babies’ with Nursery and YR R at Old Church Primary.

thrown pots made by 40 Yr 4 children from glascote primary school in Darlaston in the West Midlands and Jon Williams from Eastnor Pottery

Potter’s wheel workshop with YR4 at Glascote Primary

clay model of tudor house made by a child at Woodlands Infants School in Solihull

‘Fire of London’ houses with YR2 at Woodands Infants.

iron age round houses models made from pottery by children at Finstall First school in Bromsgrove

Iron Age huts with YR4 at Finstall First School

Clay divas made by Early Years and KS1 children at Leominster primary school and the flying Potter Jon Williams

Pinch pot Diwali lamps with KS1 at Leominster Primary.

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.