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iron age clay round house made by yr4 at finstall first school and jon the potter

collaborative totem pole sections made by jon the potter from eastnor pottery and meadows first school

Spent the week before the October half term heading North up the M5 into Bromsgrove, where I had the pleasure and privilege working with children and staff at two of the town’s First Schools.

Monday and Tuesday were spent at Meadows First School working on a whole school project making a ‘Well Being’ totem pole. Once it’s fired, the terracotta sculpture will be installed in the school’s well being garden in the school grounds.

clay totem pole made on one of the flying potter's visit to meadows first school in bromsgrove

Although the project was a collaborative one with each child in the school contributing to the whole, it didn’t stop a YR2 pupil designing and making her own personal interpretation:

On Wednesday I headed across town at Finstall First School making Iron Age houses with YR4 and oak leaf tiles with Reception class.

iron age clay round house made by yr4 at finstall first school and jon the potter

I’ve worked with both schools over a number of years and have become a regular activity at both. I love my visits to the Bromsgrove schools and sometimes get to encounter the same children. It’s great to see they develop their ideas and creativity year on year.

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.