I sometimes find it a challenge to explain to a parent why its worth coming to Kite Studios for our holiday workshops when the choice of activities available for children today is so vast.
However I always return to the principle that we are all better for having drawing as a core skill. It is ultimately the foundation for creativity. Drawing does not have to be a skill that captures the reality of a photograph though, there are so many wonderful ways of approaching the activity.
Mark making can be the joy in drawing for those children that need to burn energy, others thrive from drawing from the imagination and only yesterday I recharged my batteries by drawing from observation with two wonderful people as models, so life drawing gave me the kick I needed.
If I was to advertise our workshops as journeys into drawing we would only get the attention of a few children that might identify with the world of drawing already.
However by creating enticing invitations to for example ‘build fantasy food out of fabric’ and other wonderful materials such as clay.
Then to facilitate the children to set up their own scenes ( in drawing terms that would be a still life ) and ask them to make a painting , drawing or print of their work.
We manage to engage everyone who comes and find that many come back for more and more as they discover the joy of creating and their drawing skills grow from strength to strength.
Often it is the holiday workshops that encourage children to then take a course and we can proudly say that now there are young adults who have begun their careers in art and they trace their journey in art to a holiday workshop at our studio.
Have you heard of Clover Lee?
She was on the BBC Great Pottery Throw Down TV show and made it to the final round. We are excited to announce that Clover will be joining the teaching team at Kite Studios.
Clover will be teaching every Tuesday, starting on the 25 April 2017. On those Tuesday’s she will teach the pottery term time classes and also be available for bespoke 1-to-1 bookings. You can book a Tuesday session with Clover online.
Learn and ask questions as Clover takes you through the steps for creating ceramic pieces on the wheel. A bit more about Clover:
She was born in a small town in southern China – and moved to Wales in 2003, to study accountancy.
The 33-year-old moved to London after graduating, and her interest was pricked when Clover attended an evening class at Clapham Pottery in 2011. Clover is proud of her Asian heritage and creates a mixture of functional and stunning items – such as bonsai planters, decorative vases, sake sets, mugs and tableware.
She says she is “inspired by the traditional art and culture of China and Japan”. As well as pottery, Clover is a self-taught illustrator.
This year kite studios are very excited to be participating in the Crafts Council’s Hey Clay! event.
Hey Clay! gives people the opportunity to get creative with clay at free pottery workshops in over 50 venues, including K ite Studios, Shepherds Bush, around the UK across one weekend. Hey Clay! is part of the Get Creative campaign with the BBC which runs from Friday 7 – Sunday 9 April 2017.
Thanks to TV shows such as The Great Pottery Throw Down and The Great British Sewing Bee, We have seen a huge surge in arts, crafts and getting creative all over the UK and we at Kite Studios couldn’t be happier about it!
However, although the interest in craft is on the rise there is worrying concern for craft education. The Craft Council’s Studying Craft report shows that students studying craft related GCSEs has fallen by 25 per cent since 2007/8. This concern is shared across the board by the arts. The Creative Industries Federation recently published a paper illustrating how the current focus on the EBacc – which includes no creative subjects – is limiting the options of the next generation. At Kite Studios we are working hard to bring art back to education, to educate in art and to educate with art.
That’s why we are delighted to be working in association with the Crafts Council as they work to offer opportunities for the nation to get creative.
And it’s not just for young people – Hey Clay! gives everyone the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and unleash their inner potter. So far they have 50 events confirmed workshops in museums, galleries, colleges and potteries across the UK including here at Kite Studios Pottery. – with more being added every day.
Hey Clay! visitors have a go at press moulding, throwing on a wheel, pinching, slab building, coiling, decorating with found objects and much more!
For more information about pottery at Kite Studios West London click here
and to book a place in our Hey Clay event click here.
Can you and your partner help each other get messy with clay and make a memorable pot?
Get a 20% discount by booking online for a bespoke 1-to-1 pottery class with our ceramics experts. Use code KSLOVE17 on checkout.
This special offer is valid for all 1-to-1 bespoke pottery bookings made between 6 and 17 February for dates until May.
A 1 hour booking costs £52 per couple (usual price is £65 for 2 people).
Your piece will be fired and ready for collection in 3-4 weeks. The clay needs time to dry properly!
Image Credit: GABRIEL OROZCO: COSMIC MATTER AND OTHER LEFTOVERS, thewhitereview.org
What’s Covered in the Session?
You’ll be shown how to throw a pot on the wheel. After a few throws, we’ll help you create a single pot on the wheel. You’ll then spend time afterwards decorating it using decorative slips and sponges. We’ll fire and glaze it for a permanent ceramic finish and it will be ready to collect from the studio 3-4 weeks later.
A full demonstration is given at the start of the workshop and so is ideal for the complete beginner.
In order for you to have the piece ready in one session, we accelerate the drying with heaters so that you can decorate your piece with slips.
We then bisque fire and glaze fire the work with a transparent glaze, so that it’s ready for you to pick up in 3-4 weeks.
By Jessica Mason (Art Teacher)
On the 24th of October 2016, we held a holiday workshop, titled creating Clay heads, inspired by Anthony Gormley and Macbeth.
The concept of drawing a face might seem very simple to us. After years of drawing dots for eyes like the work of Gormley, the transition into looking closely at a face and creating a portrait that is recognisable is quite the challenge.
The task of an accurate portrait of someone is one that a lot of seasoned artists still shy away from.
Here at Kite we aim to stomp out artists fears early on and teach every child that there are no mistakes in art.
We asked the children to take a piece of card and draw the person in front of them. The children are faced with two fears here, the first, creating an accurate drawing of a face. The second, interacting with another child they don’t know.
Next we asked them to cut out the face and hold it over the face of the person they were trying to draw, to see if it looks like them. This was something that Liz (my fellow teacher) and I did not think about.
The children all put the piece of card up close to the other child’s face.
The concept of perspective is an obvious one to us, if we want to view something covering something else we hold it closer to us. The further away it is the smaller it will be. This isn’t instinctive to an eight year old.
Then the fun started. How to teach perspective to under tens?
With our thinking hats on, we grab a camera and a card face, hold the card close to the camera and get our subject to stand further back, snap, photo is taken. The children are shown and everyone gets it.
Now they all want there photos taken too!
The camera gets passed round and soon we have a whole art class of children with cardboard faces, printed out and stuck in their sketch books. That was only the first activity!
It’s not just the children that are always learning at Kite, we as teachers are constantly adapting to the class and evolving ourselves.
Gormley’s Clay Faces
The next activity everyone loves i.e. squishing clay. We show them Anthony Gormley’s clay faces as well as some images of the witches from Macbeth.
A quick chat about the story of the witches and everyone is desperate to start making. We show them how to pinch out a nose and poke in eyes, pull out a hat and push down the rim.
Even with the same instructions, each witch is different some are pointy, some friendly, some funny, some scary each one fantastic. The children paint them all, then do a drawing of the final project.
We all reflect on the day by taking imaginary photos of the challenging activities we did, the activity we did we’ve never done before and the activity that was most fun. For some children the toughest activity is also the most fun, some like drawing more and some like clay.
They all had their hands in the air when we asked who wanted to say what their most fun photo was,
Then home time comes. Liz and I hear our favourite sentence “Mummy, Daddy come see what I did!”
Slaying the Monster
We see one thing over and over again in our holiday workshops, the under sevens love everything they make, but the moment we teach the eights and up class, the self doubt monster begins to show up.
At Kite the self doubt monster is left at the door and the children in our classes learn to be proud of every art piece, mistakes and all.
A Birthday Party to Remember
For many years we’ve been running birthday parties for children with an art theme. They are popular with children and parents alike.
Creative with Clay
Over the past year, as our pottery studio has grown, we’ve been offering birthday parties with a clay or pottery theme. The pottery party has now become the most popular theme chosen by children and parents.
The children make a mixed media piece bringing their ideas to life in a 3D form to take home as the last activity of the party.
Working with clay develops the sense of touch and improves creative confidence. During the birthday party art class, the children learn about the nature of clay in a fun and engaging way.
We accommodate all age groups and provide a fully equipped studio for the art session. Most families bring their own drinks and cake, which they can serve in a separate reception room. We can also arrange catering if you’d rather just turn up.
During term time parties take place either on Saturday or Sunday afternoons for 2 hours usually from 1-3pm.
We keep them engaged from beginning to end, with a 15 minute break.
£30 per head Minimum: 10 children
£35 per head Minimum: 10 children
Duration: 2 hours