Friday, 30 October 2009

Clay at Cultural Services Roadshow

Herefordshire Council have been busy over the past few months running 'Cultural Roadshows' all over the county - the idea being to promote the cultural services on offer to the public. On Monday they pitched up in the Maylord Orchards Shopping Centre, Hereeford and asked if I was available to conduct drop-in clay sessions. I had the pleasure of working with families and groups of young people throughout the day - all making Autumnal inspired models to take home and paint.

Bonsai Children's Workshops

Another busy couple of days here at Eastnor Pottery. The children all made 'Bonsai' trees as well as sampling the delights of the Potter's wheel. The participants will return at the end of November to collect their masterpiece, all fired to a glorious terracotta finish. The next children's holiday sessions take place on the 30th of December. Please contact the studio to reserve a place: Tel 01531 633886, or e-mail:

Chris' Paint Box

I received this photo via e-mail earlier in the week. Course participant Chris came along to the October weekend workshop, with the specific task of making some ceramic paint trays. He'd constructed a wooden paint box as a birthday present for his wife, and rather than buying a mixing palette, he was determined to make his own. He overcame all kinds of technical problems - shrinking clay, box fit etc, to produce a really lovely, well crafted, personal piece of work.

Eastnor Primary - Greek Heads

We've been doing 'clay stuff' with the village school for as long as we've been living here - some 15 years. Our middle child, Jacob is now in his final year at Eastnor, so we thought it appropriate to get his class along to the studio on Friday afternoon for a spot of ceramic fun. Year 5 and 6 are studying ancient Greece, so we all modeled heads from Greek mythology - Medusa's, Cyclops, and Minotaurs etc..

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Flying Potter Saturday Tour

I worked with two independent schools on Saturday -Malvern St James in the morning and Lucton school in the afternoon. The girls at Malvern St James, made three fabulous, autumn inspired collaborative pots, as well as individual hibernating hedgehogs. For more details of what we got up to, check out and follow the link to the juniors newsletter, .
Once the van was packed, it was a dash up to North Herefordshire to meet the boarders at Lucton school.
The staff wanted all 38 boarding students, aged between 9 and 19, to make a collaborative wall panel to go in the entrance hall of the boarding house; something with the 'wow' factor to impress visitors. The girls and boys came up with the idea of self portraits, grouped together to resemble a giant ceramic 'class' photograph. We all had great fun modelling our faces in terracotta clay, in some cases 'splatting' the clay slabs onto our faces to make an impression. Once the clay was peeled from the students faces, the results were stunning - a great recipe for a fake tan too!

Coleford Residency

On Friday I headed back down to the Forest of Dean to spend my second day at the brickworks - the chaps had very efficiently and kindly fired three of the seven pots made on my first visit, (the rest were in the dryer or kiln). Inspired by the results, I threw three more large 'discovery pots' each weighing in at a whopping 35kg!

Check out the sculptural qualities of these hand carved brick finials. I had the privilege of watching the men craft the clay block in a matter of minutes - nice work Porky!

Evesham Nursery

It was lovely to resume my residency at Evesham Nursery again this week. The new intake responded well to the Potter's wheel, each child spending time chatting and creating special mugs and cups. There are always one or two that will quite happily spend the whole session exploring the clay and tools on offer - such focus and concentration from people so young never ceases to amaze me.

Careers in the Creative Industries

Worcestershire Arts Education has a fantastic reputation not only within the West Midlands, but beyond the borders too. A couple of weeks ago, Marion and her brilliant team put on a Creative Careers exhibition at Malvern Theatres. Myself and various other creative types got to talk to, and hopefully inspire, hundreds of high school students from all over Worcestershire. Musicians, dancers, visual artists, window dressers, theatre make-up artists and graphic designers were just a few of the creative careers represented .

I had the Potter's wheel on the go, inviting punters to throw a pot - wasn't long before I had a queue of eager participants all willing to try their hand. The event was hailed a huge success with a steady stream of visitors throughout.

Lottie's 13th Birthday

A group of friends, music and clay - what better way to spend your 13th Birthday! The girls gossiped, sang and clay modelled their way through a very enjoyable evening at the studio last weekend. The resulting 'treasure boxes' will be fired, glazed and ready for the birthday girl to collect in a few weeks time.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Coleford Tile & Brick Co

On Friday, I started a residency at Coleford Tile & Brick Company in the Forest of Dean. The company have been extremely generous in allowing me, one day a week to experiment with their clay & materials. My intention is to make a series of large, thrown 'discovery pots' for my exhibition at the Courtyard Theatre in Jan 2010. I got off to a cracking start, forcing 49kg of soft brick clay into a single piece! My largest pot ever!

I thoroughly enjoyed witnessing clay being processed and formed on such a huge industrial scale. The roar of the giant cavernous kilns, reaching temperature, the spectacle of flames sprouting from spy holes and cracks in the door - fantastic. I feel totally inspired and am looking forward to every minute spent at the site.

Throw a pot workshop

Another busy Sunday. We had no less than 9 participants dabbling in a spot of mud spinning here at the studio. At the end of the workshop, participants are invited to select the pots they would like to have fired...and then squidge the ones they don't want!

Here are the ones that didn't quite make the leaders board! The next workshops take place on the 7th and 8th of November. E-mail, if you fancy booking in.

Mud Runner Medals

D3 are an events company based here in Eastnor. The business specialises in 'outdoor' themed activities - zip wire, off roading, that type of thing. Sunday the 11th of October sees the inaugural mud runner race a 6 mile cross country dash across some of the most gruelling terrain here on the Eastnor Castle estate.

Rather than present participants with a regular medallion, the team decided to make their own medals, pressed from terracotta clay...and here they are, 460 'chocolate bars' all waiting to be fired in our kilns.

Friday, 2 October 2009


Children’s Half Term Workshops at Eastnor Pottery
28 & 29 October 2009

It’s nearly half term, which can only mean one thing – more fantastic clay workshop sessions for kids at Eastnor Pottery, nr Ledbury, Hfds.
Jon the Potter and his team of clay artists are inviting young potters, aged 4-12 to join them for some oriental inspired clay fun during the October half term.

The theme is ‘Bonsai’ and participants will model a mini clay tree to be ‘planted’ in a freshly thrown container created by each child on the potter’s wheel.

The Potters wheel is always a popular attraction for the children, for some of them it will be the very first time they’ve experienced, first-hand the magic of making a pot on the wheel.

The sessions are split into two age groups, 4-8 years on Wednesday 28th and 9-12 years on Thursday 29th, although these are only a guide. We regularly accept younger/older siblings on either session. Each session lasts one and a half hours, with start times throughout the day. Places have to be reserved by telephone on 01531 633 886, or by e-mail: and cost £14 for one place, £13 per head for two, and £12 each for three or more places booked. For more details of times and availability, please contact the Pottery.

Corporate Workshop

I visited central London earlier this week, working on behalf of I'd been asked to deliver a potter's wheel 'breakout' session for a corporate client. The extremely talented participants took to the task like 'ducks to water', and made some marvellous pots on the wheel.