Thursday, 1 December 2011

Gladstone Pottery Museum

Year 2 went on their trip to Gladsone Pottery Museum last Monday.  Upon arrival they were taken on a tour of the museum and told a little bit of history about how children as young as five had to work in the factories to make pottery.  Their work had to be up to standard to earn their pay, and usually this was only enough to buy a loaf of bread and a chunk of cheese.

They were shown how clay was made by mixing the raw material so that it looked like cream and then pressing the water out of it to make clay.  The potter then explained that if they made fine bone china, it would have real, finely ground animal bone added to it and if you hold a china cup up to the light, you should be able to see the shadow of your hand through it.

Kate then demonstrated how you would 'throw a pot' and used a manual potter's wheel to shape her lump of clay into a vase.  The circular motions dried out the clay and reduced the air bubbles that were trapped inside.  This was necessary as the vase would explode in the kiln if there was too much air.

The children then had the opportunity to make their own masks out of clay.  They rolled it out and cut a design of their choice, some chose aliens, monsters, babies etc.

Year 2 had a very enjoyable and informative day.

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