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"Helvellyn Estate Pottery " and how we started

Helvellyn Estate Pottery
Helvellyn Estate Pottery
Helvellyn Estate Pottery
Helvellyn Estate Pottery
Helvellyn Estate Pottery
Helvellyn Estate Pottery
Helvellyn Estate Pottery
Helvellyn Estate Pottery
Helvellyn Estate Pottery
Helvellyn Estate Pottery
Helvellyn House is a traditional country home and gardens situated in La Fortune, St. Patrick's. onstructed by my grandfather Alister Glean in the 1930's has been the home of my family for the last ten years.

The idea for this project had been around for sometime before it actually was started. We were told on many occasions that clay on the island was not very good as a source of clay and would have to import. However the idea kept nagging at us. We eventually had some clay tested in Morocco, a leading country in pottery, and were told that the clay was usable even of good quality. This of course made us even more excited. The next six months were spent preparing. A wooden hut was built at the base of Helvellyn House. Manuel potter wheels were built from large electricity cable wheels. A gas kiln was also constructed by a SEDU consultant from Barbados.
We have had professional potters and clay experts from Morocco on different occasions who helped set up the project and then to assist in product development and training program.

In June 2006 we had our official opening, by which we had created many items of various styles. We used Moroccan styles and experimented using local designs. Also developing items that were used by our ancestors, such as the goblets that kept water cool. However at this point the search for local clay was still at large. We were using clay from Guyana.

Our search lead us all around the island e.g. Grand Etang, Union, Seven Sisters, Pearls. In February 2007 we found the mix of which we have produced pieces as big as six feet tall(the size of our kiln) also pots for cooking either on an open fire or in the oven and now, we only use the local clay.

As a learning centre we have had persons who learnt about the painting, glazing and mixing of clay. We have had many schools visit the site to learn of the process from mud to pot. Potting is a little more difficult and needs a lot of patience. However we want to encourage youngsters with a love for art to come and learn. We have done a clay workshop at one of our local schools where we brought the clay to them for each student to create a piece of their own

Persons have also become interested in our clay for medicinal uses such as body wrapping, skin exfoliation, and extraction of body toxins.

At present we are a workshop that produces a variety of pieces. We have decorative pieces, large and small flowerpots (clay pots are recommended instead of plastic as it allows the roots to breathe and be kept cool.), cooking ware, incense and mosquito holders, etc.

And now we have expanded in forged iron works. This came as a result of creating clay products that needed wrought iron accessories. This is also a predominant Moroccan craft and again want to extend this art to young enthusiasts. At present we have one trainee from the IMANI program and another who has flowed over from the pottery. We are hoping with positive response we should shortly be able to expand our trainee team. So far we create pieces such as table sets, vanities, shelving units, bar stools, gates and marble tables of mosaic designs.

Pottery Workshop: 9am - 5pm, Mon - Sat

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