Say hello to Miss Pearson, our brilliant art and technology technician who spends her spare time volunteering to help those in need using her ceramic talents. She is a very busy lady but we managed to pin her down for an interview...
What is your job in school?
I am the technician for art and technology. I prepare clay for pottery lessons; mixing up glazes, adding colour to the ceramic work and firing the kilns. I look after the machines, make sure they run properly and are safe and clean, I check over all of the CAD artwork and give out technical advice to GCSE students. I also run the 3D printer, the sublimation printer and the laser cutter for all the school projects.
What did you do before you worked here?
I completed a degree in Applied Arts where I produced artwork in metal and ceramics. I lived in Manchester where I trained to teach in further education and ran my own online business selling my artwork.
Tell us about your volunteer work...
When I moved back to the north east, I went to an event called ‘Hey Clay!’, a national annual event ran by the crafts council for people of all ages to try working with clay. It's a great event which encourages the revival of ceramics craftsmanship. The Hey Clay! event was organised by a pottery company called Muddy Fingers who own a studio in Jarrow and they invited me to come along to their adult night classes. They asked if I would be interested in working with them at festivals and teaching adult classes - so I said yes!
Every month Muddy Fingers support a different charity, from local animal shelters to ‘toilet twinning’ in Africa. Money is raised by selling artwork or tickets to workshops.
Would you recommend volunteering to others and why?
I’ve always been heavily involved in organising charity events as it’s nice to help people who need it. I enjoy the feeling of community when people get together to raise money for a charity and everyone who gets involved has fun at the events while doing something good for others. I would recommend that everyone volunteers or helps out with charity events at some point, simply for the experience of working with others and to do something selfless.
How can we get involved?
Muddy Fingers are organising an event in Newcastle where a group of potters and students from the north east (including myself) have donated handmade bowls which will be given out on the night of the event. All of the money raised through the tickets will be donated to charities Food Nation and Hebburn Food Bank.
If you would like to come along, it is being held on the 21 June at the Tyne Bank Brewery (for over 18s only).
What's next for you?
Next September, myself and Mr Bradley would like to organise something similar at the Academy and we are looking for volunteers who are interested in making a bowl to donate. We would also like to have cooking classes after the half term holidays. If this is something you would like to get involved in please let your sept tutors know.