For two weeks in November Brickworks contributed to a series of special day-long pottery workshops for local primary schools, developed by CAST and in partnership with the Museum of Cornish Life.
The workshops explored the characteristics of gabbroic clay (clay formed as a result of the weathering and erosion of the stone gabbro) which is found in an area around St Keverne on the Lizard peninsula and was widely used and distributed in the Neolithic period across South West England. With the help of Natural England, a team from Brickworks and CAST collected samples of gabbroic clay and brought it back to site to be used during the workshops.
The day-long workshops began with a visit to the Museum of Cornish Life to see fragments of locally-found Neolithic gabbroic pottery, to look at the many examples of historic pots in the museum’s collection and think about their uses. Children then worked together in small groups with potter Hannah Lawrence to build and decorate their own ‘Neolithic’ coil pots. Each group also had the opportunity to spend time in the Brickworks ceramics studio, making small pinch-pots or animals from gabbroic clay (which was mixed with standard clay to make it more pliable). And finally they were able to have a go on the potter’s wheel, expressing their pleasure at the feel of the clay moving through their hands with shrieks of excitement.