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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 bricks made at national trust berrington hall with jon the potter from eastnor pottery

flying potter at national trust brockhampton herefordshire

Ashamed to say we’ve been in Herefordshire 25 years and until recently, hadn’t managed to visit either Brockhampton and Berrington Hall, two of the counties esteemed National Trust properties.

We certainly put this to right this Summer! With-in the space of a week in July, we facilitated clay workshops at both properties!

On Saturday 13 July visitors to the Brockhampton Estate were able to throw a pot on the potter’s wheel amongst the mature apple trees in the orchard. We were there as part of a ‘Fun for all’ community event hosted by National Trust Brockhampton as part of their exciting Reimagining Orchard project.

The following Saturday we appeared at Berrington Hall near Leominster. We set up stall in the famous curved wall garden and made mini clay bricks. Participants made two bricks each – one to take away and another to be fired and installed as an interactive ceramic piece at Berrington.

There are exciting times ahead at both sites as each has ambitious plans to develop their outside spaces and enhance the visitor experience.

clay bricks made at national trust berrington hall with jon the potter from eastnor pottery

 

 

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

pottery funwith the flying potter at Childwickbury arts festival

Looks like the Flying Potter has a busy few months ahead! Just look at all the lovely events and festivals the mobile division of Eastnor Pottery will be hosting clay workshops over the Summer. Hope to see you at one of them! :)

4-9 June Makershack, Cheltenham Science Festival. Come and make a clay brick using traditional clay brick making techniques for our collaborative sculpture. FREE event 10am – 5pm daily. Late opening on Friday 8pm-10pm

participants display their clay tiles at science festival 2018

14 June Royal Three Counties Show  Three Counties Showground Malvern. Jon will be there with his potter’s wheel entertaining school groups on the Eat Sleep Live Herefordshire stand.

 

The flying potter at the royal agricultural show malvern 2019

5-7 July Childwickbury Arts Fair, Hertfordshire. Take a spin on the potter’s wheel the take your clay pot away on the day to paint at home. 10am – 5pm

pottery funwith the flying potter at Childwickbury arts festival

13 July Brockhampton – come and play with clay in the orchards making insect homes and pots on the kick wheel. 10.30am – 3.30pm

child showing his clay fish made at hellens garden festival 2018

20 July Berrington Hall More brick making! Contribute to a collaborative interactive installation. Make and decorate one for the art work and one to take home as a keep sake.

girl making a clay brick at berrington hall with the flying potter

21-25 July Eastnor Castle. It’s the annual Flying Potter residency! You’ll get the chance to make a dragon head or dino scull to take away and paint at home.

Terracotta Trex made by families at Eastnor Castle with help from Eastnor Pottery

26-27 July Black Country Museum. Adult and family workshop sessions exploring various pottery making techniques and themed on the colourful ceramic world of the art potter Ruskin.

pottery workshop participant making a pot on the potter's wheel at the black country museum west midlands

8-11 Aug LAKEFEST! Right here right now, (well in a couple of months anyway!) Once again we’re venturing across the A438 into the deerpark to offer punters the chance to throw a pot on the potter’s wheel at this relaxed and family friendly music festival.

pottery wheel fun at lakefest music festival with eastnor pottery and the flying potter 2019

Thrown and assembled wheel thrown pot made by young man with aspergers at eastnor potteryLeon’s one of regular and valued customers. Every Tuesday he spends an hour or so with his support worker or mum at the Pottery making and decorating pots on the wheel.

For the past seven weeks he’s been working on a single, ‘£100’ pot. Each visit is spent making a separate section on the wheel which is then joined to the one made the previous week.

Over seven weeks, the pot has grown organically and sprouted several handles and palm tree additions. The last couple of weeks have been spent painting the sculpture in coloured under glazes and slips. It emerged resplendent from the kiln a few weeks ago and we think it’s brill! Here’s a link to a short video showing the pot in all it’s 3D glory: Young man with aspergers makes amazing pottery

Boosted by the success, Leon is onto his next project – a ‘£200’ pot!