Inspired by cultures from around the world and the rich history of ceramics, Ricky Grimes is an artist providing innovative and exciting ceramics workshops and art projects for schools and community groups as well as individual tuition. When working in schools, Ricky works with the children and class teachers to create permanent artworks, transforming indoor and outdoor areas into exciting and welcoming spaces. All ceramics workshops and art projects can be individually tailored to suit the school or community group and Ricky would be happy to arrange a visit to discuss any ideas. Most of his work has been in London and the South East but a ceramics workshop can be arranged anywhere in the UK.
“The totem poles are fantastic. I look out the window and can see all the amazing work Ricky has done with the children.” - Marriane Matheson, Teacher, Torriano Junior School, Camden NW1
“Thanks to Ricky our once barren looking playground has been transformed into a bright open space adorned with nine stunning mosaics, African masks and two totem poles. Ricky has done workshops at Torriano, over a period, for many years. Each time he has engaged and enthused the pupils,class teachers and the whole school in exciting, stimulating and often challenging projects. He forms very good relationships with both children and adults and they look forward to working with him” - Dilys Brotia, Head Teacher, Torriano Junior School, Camden
Mosaics - Here are some examples of mosaic work I have completed with various schools and community groups.
Ricky’s first ever school commission was Torriano Junior School in Camden. It was year 2000 and the school wanted to celebrate by doing a project to mark the millennium. The theme was a time line marking 500 year gaps in history. Both classes in each year group made their own panel which was linked to subjects being studied in the curriculum. On his first visit Ricky talked to the children and demonstrated designing and making a section of panel. Throughout the day children were able to come along and ask questions. The resulting tile mosaic represented year zero. Each panel used a slightly different technique. (pictured below)
Relief panels are very striking and are good for viewing from a distance. They offer an opportunity for groups to work together on a big artwork. Children learn to appreciate the planning and scale involved. Slabs of clay are rolled out in preparation and the design sketched onto the clay. Using coils of clay and modelling tools, the picture is built up into a 3 dimensional representation. These are then painted with colours then taken to be fired and glazed. The finished pieces are mounted on a frame, grouted and installed. Below are some examples of Relief Panels that pupils have made with Ricky's workshop and have become permanent pieces of artwork:
Sculpting with clay is creating three-dimensional artwork by shaping and combining the material using various techniques. Clay can be rolled into slabs which can be built round armatures into all kinds of shapes. Pinch pots can be joined and smoothed out. Clay can be added to this to form all sorts of shapes. In his work with schools and community groups Ricky has used a variety of these techniques to build very different types of sculpture. From small individual works to large group pieces. Pottery can be a fun way to make something to enhance your environment.
Totem poles are monumental sculptures carved from large trees, usually cedar, by cultures of the indigenous people of the Northwest Pacific coast of North America. Ricky has always held an interest in mythology and used a lot of ideas from ancient cultures in his earlier work. Play grounds are enhanced with the addition of Totem poles. Not only do they look striking, they become a focal point for role play and can be used to define a space for rituals such as story telling.
A kiln is used by potters to fire their clay. It may be described as an enclosure to contain heat. A number of different types of kilns developed over time to suit local demand and tradition.
Ricky has run courses in building pit and tunnel kilns at Ormond Road Workshops. At Rhodes Avenue Primary School he has built a Roman kiln and an Anglo Saxon clamp kiln. Mostly he uses his own electric kiln at his studio to fire pottery work from school projects and from his weekend pottery classes.
“Ricky worked with all the children at Chesterfield School to produce some stunning pieces of ceramic work ranging from a compilation of nursery and reception children’s hands in welcome, years 1 -4 making tiles to represent who they were and where they came from, year 5 making totem poles and year 6 making a jungle scene for the early years children and some stunning figures of heads. The whole collaboration was well managed, enjoyed by the children and has produced some stunning ceramic work which has added a lot to the school environment and which will be remembered by the children for a long time to come.” - Jenny Jones, Head Teacher, Chesterfield School, Enfield
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