Pottery gives children a culture lesson
Children at North Leigh CE Primary School learned about different cultures by making portraits from clay as part of a District Council project to promote ceramics.
The pupils took part in workshops on Thursday, November 16 organised by the Council's Arts Development team as part of the Council's Potters of Port Street (POPS) project.
The project is running until April 2007 and aims to raise awareness about pottery and ceramicists in the District. North Leigh was chosen along with primary schools in Bampton, Bladon and Clanfield for the pottery workshops because they are each located along the District's A4095 route, which was known as Port Street in Saxon times.
At the workshops, North Leigh pupils had great fun making their own portraits, based on other people's faces. Some of the children chose to base their clay masks on faces shown in photographs of people from different countries, while others were inspired by faces of relatives or people they know. The pottery workshops coincided with the school's International Education Week. Children will paint the masks and they will go on display in the school.
Ten-year-old Ryan Holcombe's clay mask was inspired by a photograph of a person from the island of Madagascar. He said: "We're learning about different cultures and how we are the same as people, but look different. It's been a lot of fun working with the clay."
Ten-year-old Jemima Evans said: "We've been looking at different nationalities and how different people look. It has been very good. My mask has got big hollow eyes, like a skeleton."
The workshops are part of the wider POPS project, funded by Arts Council England. The project has also included an exhibition in Bampton of contemporary pottery by local ceramicists and a new guide for visitors produced by the Council's Leisure and Tourism Arts Development team giving details about local
potters and attractions along the A4095, from Woodstock to Radcot.
POPS culminates in April 2007 with a unique exhibition of ceramics both past and present, including work by local artists, at the Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock.
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