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Pottery can get quite heavy at times,and not just in a philosophical way.

Bags of clay are heavy: typically 10 or 12 kg.

Large bags of pots have to be taken to fairs, although hopefully less heavy on the way home!

Pottery workshops are fun but equipment and materials have to be transported to the venue and the finished pieces brought carefully back to the studio to dry and fire.

This summer, Year 6 worked on a group project to leave in school. The theme was "Fairgrounds" again and we made a carousel to go with the ferris wheel and helter-skelter made by previous classes.

Each pupil made a 10cm tile to represent themselves riding in a car, or on a plane, or astride a fantasy animal... you get the idea.

The tiles were attached to a cylinder that everyone helped build out of slabs. Then we made a roof from individually designed triangular sections, joined over a newspaper and card support.

The trouble was that to accommodate 2 rows of 10 tiles, the circumference had to be a metre in length. Therefore the diameter was about 30cm. The whole piece used two bags of clay and was enormous: lowering it into my top-loading kiln was a feat of strength and ingenuity.

I probably should have thought this project through more carefully, but it was worth it. Displayed on a flat turntable in a wide school corridor, it looks great!

Year 5 also worked on an installation: they made cylinders from slabs of stoneware clay (nearly 2kg each) and decorated it with creatures from the rainforests. Mounted on 7cm drainpipes, set firmly in concrete, they are now a permanent part of the school landscape and the class will have another year to feel proud of them. When the rains come, the ferns planted at the base should flourish and edd to the tropical feel.

Another heavy project this year involved Russian dolls: who'd have thought it? But I'll save that story for another post!

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