Local groups, from Newton Abbot, will work with a sculptor to explore casting techniques. Making impressions and designs in clay, project participants will cast tiles and panel pieces. They will be able to create cast pieces that link the screen with modern day designs.




Clay casting with Karen Abidie


21 April 2012, Newton Abbot Town Hall

The big room was all shrouded in plastic to protect the furnishings - it looked a bit like an operating theatre - but no sharp instruments in sight.

The volunteers had the first messy task of portioning out the clay and then packing it down into the trays - this surprisingly fine and cold clay was lovely to handle.

When the excited kids, and adults, arrived they were straight into the pile of plastic toys - not as a game, but as models to cast in the clay. The choosing was followed by pressing and squeezing, smoothing and poking the clay to achieve the cast shape. Then the, almost ritualistic, pouring of the plaster into the clay cast by Karen. Some 20 anxious minutes later the first models appeared - magic! The red clay clung to the white plaster, picking out the detail. Dinosaurs and lizards lived side-by-side. Gladiators fought Indians, Horses leapt out of the plaster in a deep mould. The most exciting was a huge train cast in its own mould - so big it had to go home to set - so who knows what it looked like, but we all went home with a bit of art - wrapped in a protective Christmas napkin.

From Clay-casting workshop at held at Newton Abbot Town Hall on 21 April 2012 (the final workshop):

I liked all of the workshops very much. I wish there could have been more!

I liked the clay-casting workshop best because I got to get messy!

The workshops have given me the opportunity to learn new skills and meet a cross-section of the community, both young and old. I have thoroughly enjoyed the workshops.

The workshops have been great and lots of fun. I have enjoyed making friends and have had lots of adventures. I hope it is on again so I can come again soon!

Fantastic!! Many thanks to all involved- the team of dedicated volunteers, teaching staff and the brilliant curator - Felicity!. A great and fun way to learn new skills and meet others. More please!


Robbie and Daddy really enjoyed clay casting. We got dirty hands from it, which was fun. Then when ours set, it was ace washing them off and seeing the great detail.

Really good fun - all of them

The workshops have all been fantastic, especially the age range working together for the final project. The children were so good and inspiring, as well as were all the teachers. Many thanks

My children and I have attended all the workshops and have thoroughly enjoyed them. We’ve had great fun and increased our knowledge at the same time - an excellent way to spend a Saturday morning. Many, many thanks!

I am afraid to say I had a jaundiced view of the young people of today - but that was before I had the opportunity to go to the workshops. The children and teenagers have been a revelation. Without exception they have been enthusiastic, full of ideas and, frankly, fun to be with. I have changed my view of young people and will miss the workshops as an opportunity to get involved.

I was really surprised at how creative I could be. Who’d have thought I could produce something I was proud of in such a short time?

I made a cast of a train with my dad. It was so big we had to take it home to set. I’m really excited about how it will turn out. I enjoyed making the clay marbles too, and mum made her own cast. I learnt the word ‘exothermic’ too.

I learnt that when you write in clay you have to do it back to front because the plaster is a mirror image of the cast. So my HEY! Came out as !YᴲH

I made a picture of two Roman soldiers fighting an American Indian. It was funny!

I’ve really enjoyed being a volunteer. People are so nice.