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.
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.
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.
In September I was asked to make some colourful ceramic thimbles for the ‘Fairy Lady’ Samantha Bryan. Samantha is inspired by Victorian gadgetry and invention and creates humorous suspended, wall mounted and free standing sculptures out of a combination of wire, leather, found objects & collected materials. These unusual sculptures depict everyday life in ‘fairyland’. Samantha species of fairies are beautifully crafted and each tells an endearing story built around ideas on what they need, the perils they face and how busy they are. Listen to Samantha talk about being an inventor and story teller in her film ‘Desire to Fly’.
Melanie Hadida and I decided to get together for a collaborative workshop (Tea Bowls and Tea Blends: Brew) over a shared love of the book Herbarium. It’s a beautiful book conceived, written and illustrated by Here Design (Caz Hilderbrand).
We now sell our pottery making workshops through Virgin Experiences. Visit our Studio or one of our Ceramics Tasters at a partner venue in Leeds. Choose from a range of pottery making techniques and processes. Try your hand at making pinch pots, coil pots, press moulding, slab building or experiment with slips and decorative technique.
Do you know about Uniquely Local? Friends Rachel and Ema promote memorable gift experiences by independents in Yorkshire. I gave them a tour around the studio back in February and am delighted that our ceramics experiences are featured alongside lots of Yorkshire-based experience providers.
We sell Ceramics Tasters for two, four, eight, ten, eleven & twelve with Uniquely Local.
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.