Natural Vessels Project at Cirencester College

Arts Society Corinium helps Cirencester College engage with young students in creating ceramics inspired by natural objects 

Twenty-six Cirencester College students Year 1 (aged 16-17 years) enjoyed an all-day workshop of ceramics in December 2022 led by Tom Beer (Teacher & Head of Creative Arts Cirencester  / Ceramics) and Nancy Taylor (Ceramics Specialist). 

The students currently study Art & Design and 3D Design A-Level and the project formed part of their A-Level in 3D Design. The workshop was held to prepare the students for working with an entirely new medium for many of them. 

A pre-learning session was completed at the College leading up to the workshop in December 2022, which included sketching, primary resources and photography.  Each student created a ceramic form inspired by natural objects such as flowers, seed pods, stalks etc. 

The students researched and identified some of the most important highly influential Design movements, designers and their key characteristics of the late 19th and early 20th Century period. The students used their own visual recording skills to capture organic shapes and forms and subsequently create a vessel that is inspired by these. Using simple slab building techniques and card formers, the students wanted to produce a series of vessels inspired by natural forms. 

The workshop was supported by Nancy Taylor, a ceramics specialist, who worked with the students throughout the day.  Once the work was completed, it took time for the clay to dry adequately and then the forms were biscuit fired by the technician Jack. Once cooled the students then spent a 3 hour lesson glazing their work. The students have reported they had a wonderful new experience and thoroughly enjoyed the day creating their ceramic pieces.

"On behalf of all the students and Art staff involved at Cirencester College I would like to say thanks for the support and funding that allowed this exciting and creative day to take place."

Tom Beer, Head of Creative Arts

The Cirencester College Art staff and students were delighted with the funding support they received from The Arts Society Corinium to allow this specialist ceramics workshop to take place. The students are happy for the Arts Society members to see their skills captured in the photographs here.

Images credit: Cirencester College