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Clay Building and Paper Kiln Firing with Martin Brockman
West Sussex Half Term
Mon 21 February - Fri 25 February
7 + years
11am-3pm (please bring a packed lunch)
You can book on 1 day, 2 days or all 3.
Monday 21 February, Thursday 24 February and Friday 25 February
Martin Brockman leads this three day, half-term workshop for children, in which they will explore the different clays of Sussex, and learn how to build, decorate and fire their own pots.
Monday – Clay Land
Explore the different clays of Sussex collected from the Ashdown Forest through the brick fields of the Ouse Valley and to the sea clays at Fairlight. Using the variety of clays, participants will make pots reflecting the hand building techniques of the early pottery makers, including pinch pots and coiling wares. These pots will be left to dry before applying burnished decoration and or brushed sgraffito slip decoration on following sessions.
Thursday – Clay Decoration
Participants will continue to work on the pieces made in session 1, as well as experimenting with slab building techniques and a variety of coloured engobe clays. Themes of decoration in different world cultures will be explored in this session. If you haven’t been able to attend Monday’s session you will still be able to make things and Martin will take these away to be fired in an electric kiln.
Friday – Clay Sculpture Fire
Pots made in Session 1 will be dry and placed into a paper kiln that will be fired in the museum grounds; participants can explore taking the pots from the firing and placing pots into sawdust and seaweeds. While the kiln is firing participants will combine the skills learnt in session 1 and 2 to create sculptural bird sculptures in clay. These will be taken off to fire in a electric kiln along with any other pieces created over the 3 sessions.
N.B: Session 1 is two days apart to allow the work to dry out for more decoration options and firing potential. It is possible to book in just for 1 of any of the sessions.
Martin Brockman was born in Canterbury in 1963. He has a degree in 3D design, he studied at West Surrey College of Art & Design between 1983 & 1986. He was an associate artist with the Welfare State International Theatre Group until 2008 & has been a practicing freelance artist since 1986.
His work includes a sculptural kiln off the River Thames as part of the London International Festival Theatre at Tate Modern, sculptural installations at the South Bank Centre as part of the Royal Festival Hall’s Overture 2007 during its refurbishment, and the Tramway in Glasgow as a part of an independent show in 2008.
He has also designed and produced hand-made tiles for St Paul’s Cathedral during the refurbishment in the Crypt. Martin is a highly skilled and experienced visual artist. His work spans a range of media including works on paper, wood-block prints, ceramics, kilns and three-dimensional works in wood.
During his 30 year career Martin’s work has taken many forms including hand-made tile installations beside canals, prototyping outdoor firing techniques, using sculptural kilns and prints, woods and found materials reflecting local woodland landscapes.
Martin is considered as being particularly adept at interpreting a site, time and experience into a distillation that is arresting, beautiful, earthy and moving.
Please note: all children over 11 years old unless exempt, are required to wear face masks throughout the building, including during workshops. This is to protect our staff and other visitors, particularly those who are clinically vulnerable.