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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

Pottery team building event at Eastnor Pottery Herefordshire

Staff from the School of Biological Sciences, Bristol University descended on the Pottery in August, (all 18 of them) for a spot of pottery team building.

Participants built a collaborative jug, took turns on eight potter’s wheels and made some intricate pottery models before enjoying a buffet lunch in The Potting Tent Marquee.

If you would like to reward your staff or our planning a unique works away day for your colleagues, please take a look at our page dedicated to team-building.

MakerShack frontage at Cheltfest

Nearly 10,000 people enjoyed tinkering with materials in The Maker Shack at the Cheltenham Science Festival 2018 – and nearly all of them designed and made a clay tile at the Eastnor Pottery station!

It was the second year running Olivia Clements requested the services of the Flying Potter so we knew what to expect in terms of sheer volume of participation….and we weren’t disappointed!

The event was exhausting and needed team Eastnor Pottery & The Flying Potter to work shifts. Sarah, Millie and Jon all did a couple of days but all agreed it would have been really, really hard work if it hadn’t been for the brilliant army of volunteer helpers.

Each station was designated a couple of extra hands who once had been briefed on the activity, set about their tasks with enthusiasm, initiative and understanding. They were brilliant!

 

participants display their clay tiles at science festival 2018

mark making in clay at science festivalpublic making clay tiles at cheltenham science festivalclay tiles at cheltenham science festival makershack waiting to be collected

Attaching #clay #leaves to our #hayfestival #trees #forest #hay30 @hayfestival @bbcgetcreative @bbcarts #herefordshire

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We’ve been on the festival circuit of late providing top quality, fun and engaging pottery sessions for guests and visitors at some of the most reputed events in the UK.

At the tail end of May, we spent three busy and enjoyable days at The Hay Festival of literature on the Herefordshire/Wales boarder. One of the global themes at the Festival was ‘Trees’. Graphic designer and kids zone producer Aine Venables produced stunning branding and motifs made up of stylised bows, birds and foliage. This was displayed through-out the festival site and on promotional material and signage.

In discussion with Aine, we proposed a collaborative project where by participants co-create clay trees adorned with hand modeled bugs and forest creatures.

By way of introduction, I threw a pot on the potter’s wheel, the form rapidly turning into a tree trunk before the appreciative audience. The accumulative results looked amazing, especially once we added hazel twigs to simulate the branches. Families and individuals squashed clay leaves to the branches to complete the visual effect.

By the end of our three day residency we had produced no less then x9 collaborative trees with an abundance of woodland creatures peeping out amongst the undergrowth. We love it when participants bring their own interests into the clay modeling and if one scruitenised the collaborative work, you might well encounter the odd t-rex, unicorn and tractor!

A few days later we found ourselves at the Cheltenham Science Festival working with quite literally thousands of children and families all eager to try their hand at clay work. We had been invited to facilitate clay sessions in the MakerShack, a large, interactive space with separate stations and a host of different science related activities for visitors to engage with.

We were situated next to the digital printing stand – pointing up the similarities between ancient clay construction techniques and those of the ultra modern. We encouraged visitors to our stand to make mini coil pots by curling thin rolled snakes of clay around a small paper cone. The digital printers created 3D form  by layering synthetic material. Very similar making techniques – just different tools!

The residency at the Science Festival lasted six days and we helped approx 1000 visitors a day create coiled cones and watch them transform into penguins, flowers and elephants to name but a few project interpretations.