Tag Archive for terracotta

The international language of clay

Lugwardine primary school logoThe Flying Potter landed at Lugwardine Primary School near Hereford just before the Easter break.

The school was celebrating all things arty and crafty in their annual arts week and pottery was just one of many art forms the children were encouraged to engage with over the five days.

Each year group was given a different country to inspire their clay work with each class making a collaborative terracotta planter encrusted with decoration associated with their assigned country. The Sydney Opera House on the Australian vessel was a particular stroke of genius!

The pots have been dried and fired at Eastnor Pottery HQ and returned to the school to take up permanent residence in their new sensory garden.

We didn’t manage to get a photo of the x7 finished terracotta pots before we delivered them (doh!) but…. they posted a lovely photo of the pots freshly made on their website:

x7 terracotta collaborative pots made by the whole of Lugwardine Primary School

 

 

Giant mini-beast invasion

Look out! there’s something lurking in the rhubarb patch at Kingham Lodge.

terracotta caterpilla mad by oxforshire primary school children

These fabulous terracotta creepy crawlies were made by five Oxfordshire primary schools earlier in the year. Jon the Potter was commissioned by Kingham Lodge to co-create the artwork with the children to be exhibited in the Sculpture at Kingham Lodge exhibition He spent a half day in each school working on the collaborative insects.

The schools who took part:

Bledington

Leafield

Great Rollright

Ducklington

Kitebrook

The children’s work can be seen alongside sculpture made by professional artists in the beautiful gardens set in the heart of the Cotswolds. The show runs from Saturday 5th May – Sunday 15th May. Open 10am – 5pm daily.

collaborative terracotta bee and snail made by oxfordshire primary school children collaborative terracotta mini-beasts made by Oxfordshire primary schools

Creatives ‘R’ us!


Creative practitioners who work in other media are often inquisitive and keen to try new materials. So, as one might expect, we do get to encounter more than our fair share of artists and craftspeople wanting to translate their ideas into clay.

We love working with fellow creatives and are delighted when we get the opportunity to do so.

Check out this amazing collaborative pot made by illustrator Sarah Dean and her family to commemorate her 40th birthday.

Although the pot looked pretty amazing in terracotta, Sarah had other ideas about the finish! I’m sure you’ll agree the acrylic paint job looks magnificent and elevates the artwork to a new level.

Well done Sarah!

Weathering well

Head of a terracotta pheasant covered in frostA FAQ by our customers is “Can I put my pottery outside?”

If they are doing our ‘Make & Take’ option and transporting their raw, clay pieces home, then it’s a big NO NO! At the first sign of rain their creations will reduce to a sludge.

We recommend a couple of layers of PVA glue mixed with water (50/50 mix) to seal the surface. They can then decorate their object with whatever paint they may have to hand. BUT, under no circumstance should the object be left outside in the rain as it will break down in a down pour. Air-dried clay is definitely for interior, decorative purposes only.

Fired things have made an irreversible chemical change and are much more permanent. Rain & sunshine will have little effect. Snow, frost and ice however, can be detrimental to fired ceramic. It’s all to do with the temperature the clay has been fired to.

The higher the temperature, the more likely the clay particles will have fused together forming an impenetrable material. It’s called vitrification. If on the other hand, if you have a relatively low fired pot, the clay particles will not have fused so much, resulting in the ceramic material being softer and porous to liquids.

As water freezes, it expands. So if you have a low fired pot, the water is going to soak into the body and when it freezes, the ice expands with enough force to fracture the material. Hence cracking and chipping occurs – frost damage.

If we know our customers work is heading for the garden, we will suggest an appropriate clay and purposely high fire the object.

Our Pottery garden is full of high fired terracotta – some of the pieces have been out in all weathers for 20 years or more and they still look pretty good with very little frost damage.