by Carina Cunningham
This Summer, why not learn how to throw on the pottery wheel in a one-to-one, three-hour introduction class to pottery with Jill Kelly in her beautiful studio ‘Clay and Cocoon’ in Ardgillan Castle, Balbriggan.With over twenty years of teaching experience in adult education in various schools around Fingal, Jill has a passion for sharing her expertise and knowledge with people so that they can enjoy the many benefits of creating art. During her ceramics Diploma in NCAD she went to work for Michael Roche in Kiltra Bridge Pottery and learned to throw pots under his guidance. She then went on to work for Mel Bradley, hand painting on silk in the CraftTower, Pearse Street, where she learned how to paint on silk, something which she now incorporates in her semi-abstract botanical paintings. She went back to college to complete her post-grad in Art & Design Education and has been a special needs assistant for the last thirteen years in a secondary school.“I like to think my classes are a form of art therapy to help bring out everyone’s creative side. I love working with people and I have found that my students enjoy the process and experience of making something with their own hands as satisfying as seeing the end product at the end of a class. We are all capable of creating art and I have seen this first hand with all of my students. Being in Ardgillan has made this process even more special for me and I’ve very excited to continue to take in new customers into my studio over the coming months”. Jill is planning to hold longer, more extensive classes in Autumn/Winter later thisyear but also has some limited availability for the remainder of her summer classes (please see contact info below).These classes begin at 10:15 am and last for three hours with a maximum of two students per class. After, your pot will be fired twice in her own kiln, glazed, and will be ready for collection a few weeks later, ready for you to take home. Jill is also planning on taking parents and children aged seven and above for shorter classes at the beginning of October. Some of her bespoke creations, pottery, and art can be found in the craft shop in Ardgillan Castle, alongside new gift vouchers for her pottery classes that make for a lovely alternative gift for someone special. If you would like any further information, you can contact Jill by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or through Instagram: @clayandcocoon.