The Crafts Council’s Hey Clay! returns from 7-9 April, as part of the Get Creative campaign with the BBC. Hey Clay! offers people free opportunities to celebrate everything clay, have some fun, and unleash their inner potter!
￼We are a Hey Clay! venue and will be running events on 7 and 9 April. We’ve also joined forces with Chirpy on 8 April and treats across all our events are going to be provided by Wildflower Bakery.
As the Great Pottery Throw Down comes to an end, the Crafts Council’s Hey Clay! weekend gives people the opportunity to get creative with clay at free pottery workshops. Hey Clay! is part of the Get Creative campaign with the BBC which runs from Friday 7 – Sunday 9 April 2017.
Here at Sunken Studio we think national events like Hey Clay raise the profile of venues and makers and provide us with an opportunity to showcase and share skills. Stories are an essential aspect of making and connecting with objects. I think it’s probably the one thing that connects use all to a place, spaces, objects, materials and each other – so any opportunity to share stories is a fulfilling and affirming experience.
It’s a challenge to try and synthesize a story and even harder to communicate it to someone else – for me on of the most informative approach is to become part of the process and connect with both material and maker. It’s so difficult to find words that adequately explain what you are doing when making and demonstrating. The hand, eye and mind are responding simultaneously to feedback from material characteristics, form, surface, movement. The senses and muscles are communicating so rapidly it is difficult to translate into words what the body knows. I guess it’s why making is so therapeutic – it involves utilising a world known to us all but difficult to articulate in any other way.
The Crafts Council has witnessed a surge of interest in the popularity of making and crafts across the UK due to TV shows such as The Great Pottery Throw Down and The Great British Sewing Bee. In December 2015, Hey Clay! saw venues across the UK including the studios of Great Pottery Throw Down judges Keith Brymer-Jones and Kate Malone, attracting over 4,000 visitors. Hey Clay! venues reported that their events were fully booked, and they had waiting lists for ceramic courses throughout the year.
However, although the interest in craft is on the rise there is worrying concern for craft education. The Crafts Council’s Studying Craft report shows that students studying craft related GCSEs has fallen by 25 per cent since 2007/8.
This concern is shared across the board by the arts. The Creative Industries Federation recently published a paper illustrating how the current focus on the EBacc – which includes no creative subjects – is limiting the options of the next generation.
We’ve been thinking about the decline of craft education too. Take a look at our post Forget the Kiln: a few thoughts on clay in schools.