Take one object – Belper’s clay pots

As part of the Enlightenment! Project, Fleet Arts created a Take One Object project for Belper School.  The Take One Object project is based on the National Gallery’s Take One Picture programme. 

The object chosen was a ceramic fire-proof pot.  These pots were used in the revolutionary construction of Belper North Mill.   The Mill is the second oldest fire proof building in the world and the only one in a good state of conservation.  It is built around a cast iron frame and uses hollow terracotta pots instead of bricks.  Its construction can be considered as the precursor of the modern skyscraper.  

Pupils at Belper School spent a week working on the Take One Object project.  They learnt all about the pots and the building techniques used at Belper North Mill .  They then had a go at throwing their own pots on a potter’s wheel and visited Gladstone Pottery Museum in Stoke-on-Trent to find out more about pot making in general.  

Back at school the pupils got stuck into the Science Labs and ran experiments on different types of clay; testing their strength, acidity levels etc.   The project was finished by the creation of a half arch using the pots that the pupils had created.  This arch will be going on display at Belper North Mill soon. 

What the pupils said “When we opted to do this course, all of us chose it because it looked very interesting, but when we were briefed about it a few weeks later, our opinions changed, because it sounded rather boring. However, once we started, we all found it to be good fun, and we learnt things about architecture and clay pots that none of us had known before. The week was both fun and informative at the same time, and we all had a fun week.”


One Response to Take one object – Belper’s clay pots

  1. Pingback: Unveiled: The pot arch model at Belper North Mill « Enlightenment!

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