Following on from What We Did Last Summer, here are more multi-spouted vases. They were made in our six week beginner’s courses.
We pared down the brief and removed the requirement for them to be multi-tiered. Last year’s were impressive but simplifying the brief enabled us to focus attention on introductory techniques and do most of the refining and crafting within the workshop.
These pots took two weeks and covered adjusting press moulded shapes, slab building, tube forming, and shaping and finishing using rasps and kidneys. In six weeks everyone made and glazed an average of 10 pots. If you’d like to be the first to hear when our next courses are published please sign-up to the newsletter.
On Saturday 22nd September we’ll be taking part in Manchester’s first wellness festival. We’re delivering a short clay basics workshop at 5pm. Connect with the ground, use your hands and get proper messy in this one-hour class. Squeeze on, switch off, come home with a piece you’ll treasure forever.
Float is a one-day festival and brings together makers, foodies, ideas creators, mindfulness practitioners, business/personal development gurus and yoga teachers to open your eyes and quiet your mind. Head to Float to learn more and book tickets.
I recently took part in Craft Agency’s 10 Questions series. Head to their blog to read the full conversation.
Craft Agency is creative and digital recruitment company, with a bespoke approach to finding the right fit. They bring creative people together in ways that build long-term value and fulfil exciting potential.
Yesterday we were treated to a day working with the very talented Rebecca from the @sunkenstudioleeds in Leeds. A day just to get the creative juices flowing and enjoying learning something new. Thank you Rebecca for the most fabulous day. Our designers and illustrators loved working with you.
The conversation continues… does it matter if clay is finally being embraced by the art world (see NY Times)?
I don’t think so. Ceramics is its own thing with a fascinating history (20,000 years). Clay as a medium doesn’t need to be accepted by the art world for it to be awesome. The clay/art conversation just adds to its story & reinforces its influence & importance.
Haptic-fantastic, ‘rudely analogue’ (see The Guardian) & it tells so much about our past & present.
Clay yields & Ceramics is unyielding – it can be what you want it to be & it’ll be around for a long time to come. Pots have always had presence… subtle, there but not THERE. The hierarchy of acceptance is a distraction and reinforces some bad habits/attitudes.
This weekend I had my first go at 3D printing. I designed a form using SketchUp & printed some plastic cookie cutters on a friend’s DIY printer. This was version two, it was made using version one. I’m totally up for version three making it’s way to the studio.
I’ve been hanging out with the youth at Carr Manor Foundation Years for over a year now and it’s led to a new contract at Foundations Nursery in Batley. I go once a month to Batley and to Carr Manor every week. I work with staff and children looking at ways to use clay to help with material understanding, problem solving, fine motor skills and investigative play. Language comes in to it too.
In my last session at Batley, I set tasks to help develop hand-eye coordination by asking the children to explore different approaches to balancing and fixing disparate materials together.
We used clay as an anchor, binder and ballast – rolling, threading and blending to cover, stack and thread together wooden skewers, lollipop sticks, pipe cleaners, spaghetti and paper tubes into tall and long forms.
Clay is a fascinating material to take risks with because it changes state, and if things go wrong it can be reused. Clay in the curriculum is really important. Using it involves using the body & mind in ways that don’t have comparisons. I think that difference is needed to suit the variety of ways people learn and understand.
Look at this bunch of cheery creatures. They were made by Katy in one of our pottery evening classes. The flat disks are test tiles exploring a range of decorative techniques using slips and underglazes. They were made in preparation for a main make – see below for details.
If you love colour, you might like these. I’m currently working on three sizes of ceramic petri-style dishes for The Hepworth Wakefield Contemporary Ceramics Fair in May. Available in red, yellow, orange and blue and diameters 10cm, 15cm and 20cm (approximately). These images are of work in progress. The colours look neon – they’ll still be bright when finished but not this bright…
I’ve finally finished a few odd jobs around the house. One of which was getting this print stretched. It’s by Matthew the Horse and last year he visited the studio to work on a few examples for our Ceramics Taster: Trail.