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Using clay at The Community Table in Paris has sparked direct connection with people displaced in this context. Clay brings a familiar sense of home and is a material many know well. We’ve seen how clay can enable people to be more ambitious in what they make. So we’ve been introducing clay as a more regular material on our table this summer.

Last week, several

new people hurried over to join us as they saw the clay out on the table. At ease with the material and how to manipulate it, they sat alongside others trying out the material. Others shared pictures from their phones of vessels they had made back home in their villages or workplaces, keen to talk about the techniques they used to create their work, how to throw a particular form on the wheel, what kinds of clay they used, and what kinds of clay you find in different parts of France. People’s expertise and experience was quickly visible.

We chatted about kilns and how people fired their work back home, and wondered about ways we could imagine building a kiln in the

courtyard of the day centre. People spoke about attempts they had made to try and find workshops in Paris to be able to make work again. We shared our plans to develop this material as a regular part of our work and find a way to get artworks fired.

We need to be able to make clay a sustainable part of our work for it to be of value to those we hold this space for. Receiving support from other people who love clay is immensely important so we are delighted that The Great Pottery Throw Down series 5 contestants have chosen Art Refuge as the charity to support through #thegreatpotteryraffle of the 13th Set!

Draw on Monday 18.07.22 at 10am! £10/ticket

Naomi Press 14.07.22

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