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.
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.
‘Secret Garden’ inspired outdoor terracotta sculpture at Suckley Primary.
Whole school tile panel in the shape of school logo at Broadwas Primary.
Individual ‘Owl Babies’ with Nursery and YR R at Old Church Primary.
Potter’s wheel workshop with YR4 at Glascote Primary
‘Fire of London’ houses with YR2 at Woodands Infants.
Iron Age huts with YR4 at Finstall First School
Pinch pot Diwali lamps with KS1 at Leominster Primary.
We 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.
We were delighted to welcome Leigh and Bransford Primary School to the Pottery in the last week of January.
KS1 split into two groups, one toured the Castle while the other made clay mott & bailey coil pots with us.
In the afternoon, the groups swapped over, ensuring everbody got to sample all aspects of the Eastnor experience on their school outing.
This is what the school art co-ordinator had to say about the visit:
“They had such a wonderful day and learnt so much from you guys! They cannot wait to get their creations back when they are ready! Thank you so much, I and my colleagues will recommend you to anyone”