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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.

artist and co director at eastnor pottery and the flying potter jon williams

artist and co director at eastnor pottery and the flying potter jon williamsJob Title: Co-Director

Job description: Facilitating experiences (Eastnor Studio and the wider community) and maker of weird interactive pottery stuff.

Q1 What do you like doing when you are not working at the Pottery?

Surfing! but as you need the ocean for this I’ll settle for spin class, writing and mowing the lawn.

Q2 What is your favourite song of all time and why?

A Forest by The Cure. An incredible sonic journey with endless live versions…also, nothing was ever quite the same after hearing it for the first time.

Q3 What is your favourite drink?

A bottle of Tribute

Q4 What is your favourite cheese?

Stilton

Q5 How many pairs of shoes do you own?

6, but rarely stray from my Air Force 1’s handed up from my son!

Q6 If you were an animal what would it be?

A barn owl

 

Aimee from eastnor pottery herefordshire displaying terracotta totem pole created by all the children at meadows first school in bromsgrove

Aimee from eastnor pottery herefordshire displaying terracotta totem pole created by all the children at meadows first school in bromsgroveIn Autumn term 2019, Jon the Potter visited Meadows First School in Bromsgrove to work with the whole school creating this amazing collaborative totem pole.

The residency took place over two days and Jon set up his mobile pottery studio in the adjoining Parkside Middle School art room. Individual classes took turns to visit the art room to make their modelled contribution to the sculpture before the piece was transported away to be fired in sections at Eastnor Pottery.

Jon has now delivered the separate pieces of the totem and the whole artwork will be erected in the children’s Well Being Garden. As soon as it’s up, well get some photos of the totem in-situ and publish them here on the blog.

Clay Sculpting

A lot of home-schooling going on at the moment!

Over the years we’ve produced a collection of ‘how to do’ videos.

In an attempt to help educate and ‘entertain’ the nations children, we’ve dusted off a few of the ‘better’ (?) ones to post here on our website.

Here’s the first one on how to make a clay fish. If you don’t have access to clay, why not try using play dough?

Good luck everybody and we’d love to see how you get on. Ping us a pic on Twitter, Face Book or Instagram – make sure you tag us in too! We’re @eastnorpottery on most platforms.

Loads more where this little gem came from! Head on over to our Eastnor Pottery YouTube channel for more epic productions!

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.