Potty About Pots: Arts and crafts for home and school
by Grace Selous Bull
A couple of reviews
The journey to Put pen to paper
After I finished my studies I knew that one day I wanted to become a published author. I didn’t know whether I had it in me, but I knew I wanted to try at some point in my life. I didn’t want to go through my life with ‘what ifs’. Naturally though, life got in the way for a few years. Then I came to a cross roads in my life. I got engaged, to my long term boyfriend who was currently in training to become a RAF Regiment Officer. I naively had hoped he would be posted near London, however alas, we found out that Scotland was where he was being sent. I knew I did not want to be in a ‘weekend marriage’. We had been doing long distance for over a year and I didn’t want that to continue into married life. So I made the choice to resign and the day after we were married we drove to Scotland into our new life.
We were happy, however as the year progressed I found I couldn’t find anything in my field. In what I had trained to do, what I loved to do. Slowly the identity I had unknowingly created for myself over the last few years fell away and it was a dark time for me. Soon I stopped following the art market or reading about anything to do with it as I found it too painful and started to accept that working in auction houses was perhaps not in my stars after all.
Hubbie then was deployed to Afghanistan the year after we married. We also found out we were pregnant the day before he left on said deployment. I was unemployed, pregnant and with a long, long year ahead of me. So, I enrolled myself on a Teaching Assistant course to do while he was away for 7 months. I figured with all the moves we would be doing with his job that it was a sensible move. But, my heart wasn’t in most of it. Until the school I was working at realised my art background and started to get me more involved in the art side of school life. I was asked to do an art after school club as well as various art bits around school. I soon realised how stretched teachers were. I saw the huge gap in teaching that was being neglected in Primary Schools. Teachers simply did not have time to teach art in all it’s glory. Not just 2D famous paintings but the art world in it’s entirety. Children at primary school level thrive on hands on play through learning, art should be infused through every subject where possible. The school I worked at had Art for one hour every TWO weeks.
After doing some market research I realised there wasn’t a book like the one I wanted to create - a cross curricular art book that showed teachers and parents how to use art to teach, Maths, History, Geography, Politics, Language, Design, Religious Education, any subject through the guise and lens of art. I decided to start left wing with a ceramics book, something that is rarely used to teach children.
So Potty About Pots was born. A history of the ceramic world spanning from Ancient Egypt up to contemporary Britain. Each chapter has information about the era and the art movement at the time. They have two art and craft activities inspired by what was in that chapter and a word search using a glossary of words that have been learnt throughout.
It is early days but I hope that it will be the first of many. The next is already in the works!