Leon’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!
Jon recently spent two creative and inspiring days working with the young people at Tettenhall Wood School in Wolverhampton, an educational setting specializing in students with a wide range of autism.
Arts week co-ordinator Maggie had worked with Jon in another SEN school and was keen to introduce her current pupils to the delights of working with clay in an exploratory and open ended fashion.
There were some ceramic outcomes – eg Zurg and Buzz Lightyear beautifully sculpted in a matter of minutes, but on the whole it was all about the potter’s wheel and the fluid, silky consistency of slip and soft clay.
The sessions were gloriously messy and by the end of the day the art room was well and truly splattered, a testament to the enjoyment and enthusiasm in which the students approached the material.
One student was initially unimpressed by the mess and stood a long way from the wheel vocalizing her disapproval at being in the space. Through-out her protest, the individual in question watched the other students take their turn on the wheel and as her mood calmed, she was encouraged to step a little closer. Eventually and with a little more coaxing she was handed a pencil to interact with the spinning clay. She used the pencil to create marks, spirals and swirls before downing the tool and tentatively touching the clay with the tip of her finger. Next thing, both hands were clasped around the lump and a broad smile stretched across her face. All this inside a very short space of time – naught to sixty in 20 minutes!
Take a look at these fine terracotta collaborative carp made by the students at Regency High School in Worcester.
Jon entered Regency High School, Worcester on a mission to help students and staff make a shoal of terracotta clay fish.
They managed to construct five Koi Carp, Jon working with each class for an hour or so. Although the fish looked amazing and everybody was proud of their collaborative efforts, Jon was even more excited about the clay work produced by the students who approached the making of scales in their own, unique way.
“I’m continually staggered by the variety of new and creative approaches to clay innovated by adults and children with Special Educational Needs or disabilities. You think you’ve seen it all and then somebody does something with the material you’ve never seen before – amazing and inspiring!”