These workshops combine an art & craft activity with history and are a cost effective, real alternative to a field trip; We bring a living museum to you!

We present all workshops in period costume, using tools and equipment appropriate to each era. The day begins, working with the whole class, using my extensive “Portable Museum” handling collection, which acts as a springboard to talk about many aspects of life in the period. While many subjects are covered in an informative and sometimes humorous way, these are always pitched at a level appropriate to the age group, clear but never patronising.

Every workshop has a hands-on element allowing the children to express their creativity, while engaging in an activity that involves real technology from the period. By the end of the day the children will have gained considerable additional information about the historical era covered and will have produced their own replica artefact to keep.

Other activities that can, on request, form part include Archaeological Challenges, which encourage the children to look closely at artefacts and discover the stories that they can tell us about the people of the past. The knowledge and skills gained through these activities will equip the children to better appreciate what they see when the next visit a museum, and help them to understand that a pot sherd isn't just a "bit of broken pot", it's a piece of the jigsaw of the past and a part of someone’s life.


The structure of the day would normally run as follows but can be tailored to your school day.

9am to break - handling collection and demonstration session with the entire class.

After break to the end of the day- the class is divided into two or three groups of 10 to 16 children, I work with one group before lunch and two groups after lunch, for approx 40 minutes to 1 hour each, to complete the hands-on activity. If time allows there will be a question and answer session at the end of the day, which can be planned to include parents if required.

At the end of the day - pots made by the children will be taken back to my studio, dried and fired to make them permanent. Once they are fired they will be returned to the school, usually after three to four weeks. Where possible, and if the school is on one of my regular routes I will deliver the pots free of charge.


A full days workshop - £275, for a class up to 32 children including travel costs within Northumberland and Tyneside (The day can be split between 2 classes, although this will result in a somewhat compressed handling collection session and larger hands on groups, for this there an additional charge of £80 for preparation, handling and firing of additional materials.)

Return shipping of pots - £40 - £60

Travel costs outside Northumberland and Tyneside - Millage is charged at 45p per mile.

Hands-on projects are as follows:

  • Egyptian: Canopic Jar made from pre prepared pot or Shabti figure mould made.

  • Greek: Rhyton (Animal head drinking cup) from pre prepared pot

  • Prehistoric: Hand built Neolithic bowl and animal/deity figure

  • Roman: Roman Head Pot from pre prepared pot or Antefix

  • Anglo Saxon: Hand decorated Saxon urn from pre prepared pot

  • Mediaeval: Knight Jug from pre prepared pot or a Mediaeval encaustic tile

  • Tudor: Bellarmine jar made from pre prepared pot

  • Civil War: Slipware Plate/bowl made from pre prepared pot

  • Victorian: Painted Plate made from pre prepared pot

What to expect:

ROMAN: The Handling Collection includes: Amphorae, Samian Ware, Barbotine ware, lamps, deity figurines, greyware, cooking pots, head pots, mortaria, altars, incense burners, votives, etc.. Which are used to lead a lesson covering: Trade & produce, the empire, transport, the Roman army, Hadrian’s Wall, the gods, Roman Crafts, domestic life and much more.

The Hands-On Activity: The children will make Roman Head Pots, representations of gods on pots; I will bring along one pre prepared soft clay vessel for each child, the children will then model these to represent a face. OR A slightly faster activity for larger numbers of children; an antefix, a decorated roof tile, usually bearing the face of a Roman Deity or the insignia of a Roman Army Legion.

PREHISTORIC: Stone-Age, Bronze-Age and Iron-Age The Handling Collection includes: Stone, Bronze and Iron axes, knives, swords, tools etc. Wood, bone, antler and horn tools and artefacts, including fire making equipment (We will not be actually making fire!). Baskets, leather and birch bark containers. And of course lots of replica pots. Which are used to lead a lesson covering: Ancient technology. The use and sourcing of natural materials. The transition from hunter gatherers to farmers. Finding, storing and preparing food. Clothing materials and manufacture. The arrival of metal and the development of tools. Religion and ritual.

The Hands-On Activity: The children will prepare some clay then use it make and decorate a hand built pot using replica tools. This will be a far more authentic experience than the “coil pottery” traditionally taught in schools.

GREEK: The Handling Collection includes: Amphorae, Rhytons, Aryballos, Ostraka, Attic Wares, Votives, Military paintings, Deity Figures, Athlete Figures, Toys, Lamps, etc.. Which are used to lead a lesson covering: Trade & produce, the arts, the Greek & Spartan armies, the navy, Olympics & athletics, democracy, domestic life and much more.

The Hands-On Activity: The children will make Rhytons, animal headed drinking vessels; I will bring along one pre prepared soft clay vessel for each child, the children will then model these to represent their own chosen animal, a handle will be applied.

Alternative Activities: Aryballos making an animal shaped perfume bottle or Attic Bowl Painting on a pre prepared and fired Greek bowl.

Much larger projects can be designed and delivered, if you have any ideas for projects large or small please contact us.

Contact us at our Rothbury pottery workshop to join the fun