BCB artist in training programme – world in one city

Yesterday was our second week with the Burslem Jubilee group for ‘World In One City’. I am working on this project as part of my ‘Artist In Training Programme’ with The British Ceramics Biennial and Arts Connect.
The workshops are led by Joanne Ayre at the BCB studio. The day began with a discussion on how to build an outdoor stove, the group shared their designs and ideas on how best to build a fire, and we created our very own stove from bricks and clay. This was a true team effort, the group loved getting clay under their fingernails. It was great to see the participants working together on this and the end result was fantastic. The stove will be dry and ready to use ready for next week’s session.
Alongside this, some participants continued with their mug decal designs. This activity is super relaxing and I felt some of the group were really taking ownership of their designs. The pride shone through!
We spent the final part of the morning creating slab built ‘spice pots’ with Jo Ayre. We discussed our favourite herbs and spices whilst making our pieces. The group found the morning very reflective and enjoyed continuing working in clay. Food was provided by the Bread in Common team. Sabah created some delicious tabbouleh and Mohammed brought along some home made daal. Osman sang for us while we tucked into our feast!
The afternoon was spent touring the Emma Bridgewater factory. We saw each step of creating the wares, from slip-casting, to sponge decorating. It was eye-opening for the group to get to see how a modern running pottery works and they found the trip educational. After spending time working in the old Spode factory, this complimented their sessions really well. The group described their afternoon as surprising and refreshing!



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