PICTURES: Kids go potty for clay play day

It's an art form that is slowly dying out in today's schools.

Friday, 26th August 2016, 2:18 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 2:45 am
Jacob Et, six at work on his pot
Jacob Et, six at work on his pot

But these children could be ceramicists of the future after attending a pair of sold-out pottery lessons.

The sessions took place at the Rustington Museum in The Street, Rustington on Friday, August 19.

The 30 children that attended were shown how to make clay sculptures using a variety of techniques and equipment by professional ceramicist Finola Maynard, who teaches pop-up classes around the country.

Kiera Turner-Reynolds, nine, creating a pot

Finola, who is based in Eastbourne, said the children weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty when it came to making their creations, which involved tile-cutting, rolling coils of clay and ‘throwing pots at the wheel’.

She said: “They loved it. The thing with pottery throwing is that it’s really rare to do now. At school, ceramics are being cut out of the curriculum.

“It was such a lovely place to work; the people at the museum were lovely, as were the children, and there was a really nice atmosphere.”

While Finola said she couldn’t pick a favourite out of her pupil’s creations, one did catch her eye.

Tiesha Turner-Reynolds, five at work

“A girl made a ceramic basket with a separate base and a handle; I was very impressed.”

Finola has taken the pieces back to her studio to dry, which she said will take a couple of weeks.

Then she will bake them in her kiln to harden them – a process called bisque firing – and then apply a coloured glaze and bake them again.

Each step will take around 12 hours, and then the children will be reunited with their finished artwork to keep as a memento.

Chloe Peskett, nine, during the pottery workshop in the museum

Julie Covey, who works at the museum, said the event had been a big success.

“They made coasters, bowls, everything they could fire up in their imaginations. It was very educational, as well as lots of fun and mess!”

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Sophie Machie, nine, with her work

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