Sculpting Land, September-October 2019

In this short course you will learn about clay and create your own ceramic object. 

A series of talks and hands-on workshops looking at clay – from digging it out of the ground, to processing it into a usable material, hand building and firing.

In this short course we will learn about the production of clay, starting with processing the raw clay material dug up from the ground, as illustrated in this course by the china clay industry in Cornwall. In the following session, we will consider how clay has been used in the ancient world, and look closely at the earliest recorded written text, found on clay tablets in ancient Mesopotamia. In sessions three and four, we will learn different hand-building techniques and use these skills to create our own ceramic objects. 

We will spend the morning of our last session foraging for food along Margate’s coast while learning about sustainable foraging and enjoying lunch on the beach. We will finish off this short course back at Clayspace Studios, where we will fire our clay objects in an outside Raku kiln, creating a ceramic object to take home with us.

Session 1
Monday 2 September 2019, 
12-6pm
Rosanna Martin will be giving a talk on how to find and process clay from the landscape – she will discuss more closely the ongoing Brickfield project in Cornwall. In the afternoon she will run a workshop using some of the processing and brick making techniques.

Session 2
Tuesday 10 September 2019, 
12-6pm
Jonathan Taylor of the British Museum will be giving a presentation and leading a workshop exploring the history and materiality of clay in ancient Mesopotamia.  We will learn about the fascinating uses of clay in this time, and will try our hand at making a cuneiform tablet.

Session 3 and 4
Monday 16 and Monday 23 September, 11am-5pm

These two sessions will be held at Clayspace Studios, who will run hand-building sessions where we will learn how to coil and pinch vessels out of clay. We will also learn how to apply glaze onto our objects ahead of the Raku firing. Please wear clothes you don’t mind getting messy. 

Session 5 and 6
Sunday 6 October 2019

11am-1pm: Join us on the beach where we will learn more about foraging from Wild Food Folk. We will have a chance to look at the different uses for Seaweed (other than culinary) and if its harvesting should play a role in our sustainable future model. Please wear suitable footwear. 
2-5pm: We will end the course with a third session at Clayspace Studios, where we will fire with the outside Raku kiln and create our own ceramic object to take home with us. Please wear clothes you don’t mind getting messy.

Practical information
Although all part of the Sculpting Land short course, these workshops are all separate events. You don’t need to be an artist to attend any of them and you can choose to come to only one, two or more of the sessions. If you wish to take part in this course, be it the whole thing or just particular workshops, please email info@openschooleast.org 
Please note that sessions 3, 4 and 6 in particular have very limited spaces.