Categories
Exhibitions installation Interactive art

Sonic Bees

Throwback Thursday: Electro Bees in the Black Country Aug 2016

Back in the depths of Winter 2015 Jon was approached by Creative Black Country to contribute a work of art for a field of ceramic flowers, being ‘grown’ by community groups in West Bromwich and the surrounding area.

He submitted several ideas, but the one that really captured the imagination of CBC was a swarm of touch sensitive ceramic bees that buzzed when handled.

Jon’s practice is interactive and playful and the more layers of engagement the better. FAB LAB were the technology collaborators on this occasion with notable and outstanding ‘problem solving’ contribution from Anne Scrimshaw.

The bees were also featured on BBC Midlands today.jon the potter on midlands today with his electro beespotter jon williams being interviewed for midlands todaymidlands today reporter satnam rana makes a pot on the potter's wheel at eastnor pottery

Categories
Interactive art social engagement

Making Together

Throwback Thursday: Making Together at Birmingham Settlement 2018

This was a year-long programme of inter-generational making based activity initiated by Craftspace and took place at Birmingham Settlement.

I was one of six makers who got to work with early-years children (0-5 years) and their families in an open-ended way, exploring the processes and techniques of our chosen art form. The project provided an opportunity for children, parents, carers and grandparents to explore and make together.

There were three sets of workshops, each focusing on a different material: Textiles, Metal and Clay. Two makers collaborated on each set. I partnered with Joanna Dawidowska, a ceramic artist based in Burton Upon Trent. The workshops took place during spring and early summer 2018. All the sessions were free to attend.

By way of a legacy, each lead artist produced an activity kit handed over to the Centre at the end of the project. This was to enable the early years practitioners, parents and children to carry on the exploratory play work once the project had concluded.clay stamps made on making together project at birmingham settlement and craftspaceclay kit made by ceramic artist jon williams for craftspace making together projectclay stamps made by making together participants at birmingham settlement

I really enjoyed putting the clay kit together and encouraged parents to make their own clay stamps and mark making implements to accompany all the other stuff.

Artist, model & photographer Liz Ord took some cracking pictures of the clay sessions.

Further details of the project can be viewed on the Craftspace website.

Categories
Interactive art Outside

Very Happy Making

Throwback Thursday: Happy Craft Play Project 2013 – 2014

Outside learning with nursery aged children in the depths of winter – chilly, great fun and a fine example of partnership and collaborative working! Just look at the individuals and organisations involved:

Commissioned artists:

Jon Williams

Ann Marie O Sullivan

Corrie Williamson

Organisations:

Happy Museums

Craftspace

Craftplay

WAVE

Loxdale Primary School

I made ceramic play things and clay stamps as a response to the exploratory sessions with the very young children and their teachers. The work was then gifted to the school to as a resource for future outdoor learning.

pottery stamps and play objects for EYFS aged children made by artist jon williams on the happy craft play project in wolverhampton

Background to the project:

The Craftplay project brought together WAVE and Craftspace who worked together at Bilston Craft Gallery to deliver a programme of creative engagement sessions with early years’ children. The project engaged with children and their carers through working with craft makers to explore creative play and the natural environment – investigating the part craft plays in developing a sustainable future. By taking the world around us as a teacher and actively interacting with, The Craftplay project sought to inspire children with an appreciation of the environment and its systems, and to enrich their self-belief through creating things themselves by hand.

There is an acute need to support basic wellbeing in the area immediately around Bilston Craft Gallery which has high concentrations of children living in poverty and high levels of deprivation. The sessions provided by the Craftplay project offered a rich, inspiring and fun learning environment where curiosity, confidence and social development were nurtured. In order to chart the progress of their project, WAVE and Craftspace created a great blog.

Read a Case Study of the project – Bilston Craft Gallery – developing outdoor play

Categories
Exhibitions Interactive art

Sensational Clay

Throwback Thursday: Sensational Clay

A Bilston Craft Gallery Touring Exhibition 2011 – 2015

Sensational Clay was my solo show and a culmination of many months of work, exploring ideas of invention, interaction and participation with clay.

All the works in the exhibition were inspired by the five senses: touch, taste, sound, smell and sight. Every item encouraged visitors to interact and explore, inviting them to experience the objects in a very different way than in a typical gallery setting.

A short film accompanied the exhibition which gave further insight into my practice and the processes used:

Included in the exhibition were:

Giant bowls of sand that visitors can delve into to discover hidden treasures

Tables filled with food inspired ceramics, such as giant teacups and biscuits

art gallery visitors playing ceramic drum pots by herefordshire ceramic artist jon williamschild playing percussion on pottery drum pots made by ceramic artist jon williams

Interactive musical pots and rattle pots

Scented ceramic forms, reminiscent of pineapples, coconuts and bananas

sensory ceramic doodle plates by ceramic artist jon williams exhibited at bilston craft gallery 2011

Textured ‘clay doodle’ plates

The exhibition toured a further four UK art galleries and was experienced by approximately 12000 visitors. The other venues were:

New Brewery Arts – Cirencester

Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery

Worcester Museum and Art Gallery

Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum

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