North East Teachers Get Fired Up Over Ceramics
Teachers from five North East schools have been learning about the ancient art of ceramics with the help of the National Glass Centre at the University of Sunderland (NGC), a world-renowned centre for ceramics as well as glass.
The University’s ceramics department has been chosen as the ambassador for the Crafts Council's Firing Up scheme in the North East. Firing Up is a national scheme which aims to re-invigorate the teaching of ceramics in secondary schools.
Staff from the NGC are working with teachers from five North East schools; Sandhill View School (Sunderland), Farringdon Community Sports College (Sunderland), St Bede’s Catholic School and Six Form College (Lanchester), Red House Academy (Sunderland) and The Kings Academy (Middlesbrough).
The school teachers have already attended twilight sessions at the NGC where they have been tutored by artist and ceramics technician Robert Winter, who has introduced the teachers to skills and processes needed for the creation of ceramics through a series of six workshops.
Dr Andrew Livingstone, leader of the Ceramic Arts Research Centre at the University of Sunderland and programme leader for MA Ceramics, says: “Many schools have kilns which are not used. Firing Up will help ignite these kilns once more. I believe it is vital to get young people involved once again in crafts, particularly ceramics which is a relatively cheap material, and is easy to use even for the youngest children.
“The teachers involved in Firing Up enjoyed every session and arrived with tremendous enthusiasm. The teachers and artists are looking forward to the new year when the projects move into the schools.”
Artist Chris McHugh will join Andrew Livingstone and Robert Winter as the artists based at the five regional schools from January to summer 2012. They will work with pupils and teachers to realise projects. Ceramics students from the University's undergraduate programme will join them at the schools, gaining valuable professional practice experience.
Firing Up will be launched on Friday, 2 December, at the National Glass Centre at 5pm. The Crafts Council are holding a handling session as part of the launch, with items from their collection including works by acclaimed ceramics artists Kate Allsop, Morgan Hall, Rosa Nguyen and Nao Matsunaga.
Ceramics PhD students Chris McHugh, Hyosun Kim and Jungwon Park, will be demonstrating their practice, joined by Katherine Butler, a recent MA Ceramics graduate from University of Sunderland who has shown work in the British Ceramics Biennial and has now set up her own studio.
Following the launch there is a CPD Day hosted at the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens where the teachers and artists will work with Clayground, a collective who are working with the Crafts Council to facilitate training within the project.
See work by Chris McHugh, Hyosun Kim and Jungwon Park in
Kith and Kin and