Since 2009 we have been delivering community and education programmes, now as a major strand of The Clay Foundation’s work.
Following the success of TYPECAST I project, BCB secured funding to join a pan-European group of creative organisations that will deliver a similar project in Italy, Ireland, Spain, Turkey, Stoke and Manchester. The project aims to work with the recovery community in all countries, helping them communicate and develop a personal recovery journey with clay. Participants focused on food and drink, a central theme used in recovery to promote better self-care strategies. The group designed and produced ceramic tableware that depicted personal recovery journeys and changing identities. This theme will move forward into the pan-European project, exploring how food and clay can be a catalyst for developing better recovery.
In Summer 2013 a group of residents at Eastgate facility, which houses and helps people in recovery from drug addiction, completed a body of work in clay that reflects their personal recovery journey. Joe used his own creative practice to lead the Eastgate residents through a design and making process to produce a collection of their own tableware. The objects made are based around growing, eating, sharing and individual relationships with food.
Each stage of the food eating and preparing process has connections with participant recovery. Throughout the project, Dr Barry Taylor practiced mindfulness techniques with the residents, to give useful tools to aid with creativity and help combat future anxiety, stress and other factors that could negatively impact on their recovery. British Ceramics Biennial worked closely with Portraits of Recovery during the Typecast project. Portraits of Recovery are a visual arts organisation that believe art can be transformational in the recovery process.
Fired Up Stoke
Moving on from the Crafts Councils national Firing Up initiative, FIRED UP STOKE worked with 158 students, teachers and artists in Stoke-on-Trent to re-ignite the use of clay in high school and college classrooms. The project placed ceramic artists within four local high schools to lead projects based on their every day practice. The projects included the development of concepts and ideas, as well as how the artists make their work from clay. The artists worked with a floral theme throughout, as the objects made during the FIRED UP STOKE Open Day, which saw six schools visit artists at the Spode site, were included in Stoke-on-Trent’s Story of Transformation garden at the Chelsea Flower Show.
Members of the local Ladies of Self Support group have painstakingly constructed elaborate works from salvaged Spode objects. Working in a similar way to the lead artist, Ruth Spaak, the ladies re-built new work from destroyed and deconstructed objects.
Ruth led the group through a number of creative steps to complete their pieces, slowly building the groups confidence in their creative ability. The ladies practiced making creative decisions and trusting their instincts with simple actions like building forms and layering texture on small introductory works.
The Ladies of Self Support group is made up of local women who have been diagnosed with depression. The Re-Build project intended to build confidence and self esteem though creativity.