Art teachers, who are also passionate about ceramics, have met up to share ideas and strategies about introducing the media more widely to students in two of our Trust schools. Charlotte Asprey from Brooke Weston Academy and Thomas Clarkson Academy’s Head of Art, Sarah Loosemore, first met at a Trust subject training day. They share a love of pottery, so Charlotte visited Sarah to see how the subject is taught at her school and share ideas.
Charlotte said: ‘It was really nice to see each other again. As far as we know Sarah and I are the only specialist ceramics teachers in the Trust so it was really good to get together to try and make it more relevant and engaging for the younger generation. Ceramics is a skill and art form that is almost dying out as it is seen as more of a traditional craft. However there are some contemporary artists out there producing cool, contemporary work and exhibitions.
‘Clay is such a beautiful and diverse material that allows students to get literally get stuck in and be creative. Thomas Clarkson Academy has great 3D facilities and a really nice selection of wheels and traditional glazes. Sarah is now doing one of my projects on Kimmy Cantrell, over at Thomas Clarkson Academy which is brilliant, because it is a lovely fun project. I have got ideas from her about some of the work she does with her older students on natural forms. She has some great work from Art students on display, including really nice teapots. A student spent hours and hours learning how to throw pots on the wheel and he almost got addicted to it, so I am hoping to introduce more throwing and sculptural elements at Brooke Weston Academy.
‘As Sarah has lots of experience and has continuously used clay at Thomas Clarkson Academy she has so many examples of clay work, which is amazing to see and really inspires the students. She gets different years involved in clay which is what I am hoping to emulate at Brooke Weston Academy. The visit to Thomas Clarkson Academy really opened my eyes to what can be achieved when you enthuse the next generation of artists, potters and ceramicists.
‘The collaboration between Sarah and I is definitely something that I want to continue. They do a lot of 3D sculpture at TCA, not only in clay but also with things like wire or paper. Maybe she could come over to Brooke Weston Academy and teach A Level students how to throw pots after school and I could go over to her school and do a project in return to make sure that clay stays visible, current and relevant in the art curriculum.’
Sarah said: ‘From a Thomas Clarkson perspective it has been so good to be able to discuss all things clay and having the 3D link with Charlotte at Brooke Weston Academy is very exciting. It has been very productive to be able to share and support each other with ideas and schemes for learning and this is something we will definitely be continuing with. We are both fortunate to have the facilities to inspire students with so they can continue to produce exciting and interesting work using 3D materials, but especially ceramics.'