Sculptor Reece Ingram delivered a craft-focused Masterclass which brought together the Cornwall College and Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro Saturday Clubs to experiment with charcoal, drawing, clay sculpture, pattern making and glazing.
Reece began with a talk about his background and work – including his interest in taxidermy. Then, he set up his stuffed wild birds on each table and asked the young people work against the clock to sketch an outline of their chosen bird, as large as possible, to create a strongly monochrome reverse silhouette. ‘Draw carefully,’ he said, ‘but don’t worry about making mistakes.’
Following a short break, the Club members began their three-dimensional work. After outlining the basic workings of a kiln, Reece showed the young people how to shape the hollow form with their hands and the blade, and by adding layers of clay, to shape it more like a bird. The Club members each began to make their clay bird shapes, helped by Reece who talked about how it was important to learn to control and manipulate tools and materials, and how an artist tries to communicate ideas to the world.
The young people worked to add patterns to their sculptures and then chose glazes in a variety of colours, which they applied to their birds with paintbrushes. When their painting was finished, they grouped all their final pieces together as a flock, ready to be fired. One of the Club members commented: “When I joined two years ago I had never done anything with clay or textiles. Since then I have learnt how to make things from clay and textiles. I would never have done these things otherwise. This Masterclass is amazing – it’s so good!”