As the Great Pottery Throw Down comes to an end, the Crafts Council’s Hey Clay!
weekend gives people the opportunity to get creative with clay at free pottery
workshops. Hey Clay! is part of the Get Creative campaign with the BBC which
runs from Friday 7 – Sunday 9 April 2017.
We’ve witnessed a surge of interest in the popularity of making and crafts across
the UK due to TV shows such as The Great Pottery Throw Down and The Great
British Sewing Bee. In December 2015, Hey Clay! saw venues across the UK
including the studios of Great Pottery Throw Down judges Keith Brymer-Jones and
Kate Malone, attracting over 4,000 visitors. . Hey Clay! venues reported that their
events were fully booked, and they had waiting lists for ceramic courses
throughout the year.
However, although the interest in craft is on the rise there is worrying concern for
craft education. Our 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
That’s why the Crafts Council wants 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 we have
50 events confirmed workshops in museums, galleries, colleges and potteries
across the UK – with more being added every day.
Hey Clay! visitors will be able to witness the drama of raku firing, have a go at
press moulding, throwing on a wheel, pinching, slab building, oxide bubble
blowing, coiling, decorating with found objects and much more. You will be able
to create pinch pot egg cups at Northlight Art Studios in West Yorkshire, enamel
paint on to porcelain at Arch 40 in east London, make a clay figure at the Leach
Pottery in Cornwall, have a go at slab rolling and extruding at Wentworth Pottery
in East Yorkshire, create terracotta pots at Ruthin Craft Centre in Wales and Easter
eggs at City Ceramics Studio in Glasgow, have a go on a wheel in Bristol’s mobile
pottery studio. Plus the home of the Great Pottery Throw Down – Middleport
Pottery – will be hosting a whole weekend of fun activities.
For more information about Hey Clay! and to find your nearest venue click here.