Schoolchildren cast their creations in bronze
- Credit: MELISSA MATTHEWS
The chance for students to work with an artist to make bronze sculptures inspired by their favourite books will be one of those memories that will “be with them forever”.
Year six pupils from Thurston CE Primary Academy have had the “amazing opportunity” to collaborate with professional Suffolk artist Alice Ewing as part of a Suffolk Libraries’ youth arts programme, which is supported by Arts Council England.
More than 30 students enjoyed workshops at Thurston Library where they turned designs for objects from their most loved books into clay and wax models.
These workshops were followed by a visit to Alice’s foundry near Brandeston where the pupils watched their final pieces being cast in bronze.
JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Jacqueline Wilson’s Tracy Beaker books and the classic Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien were some of their sources of inspiration.
The pupils saw their finished work for the first time at a private viewing at Thurston Library on Thursday, February 7, that celebrated their success and the bronze sculptures will be on display there until May 30.
John Bayes, who is joint headteacher at Thurston CE Primary Academy, said: “Thurston CE Primary Academy would like to thank everyone involved in providing the year six pupils with this amazing opportunity and a memory that will be with them forever.”
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Melissa Matthews, arts programmes coordinator for Suffolk Libraries, said: “The private view was just wonderful - the library was absolutely packed and the atmosphere was incredible.
“This really has been an amazing opportunity of Suffolk Libraries to create and produce projects for young people in its community.”
She said the project - which is part of the BLOC (Building Libraries On Creativity) programme - came about after Thurston Library got chatting to Alice about their local community.
During the workshops in December the pupils explored the techniques needed for making sculpture and during the visit to Alice’s foundry they watched the liquid bronze being poured and learnt about the lost wax casting process.
Ms Matthews said: “I think our library staff may have been even more excited about the foundry visit than the students. It really was a unique and awe-inspiring experience, and the students were so engaged in every detail of how it all worked.”
She added: “Thurston Library Manager Cathy McDonald and volunteer Richard Fawcett have driven the project collaborating with Thurston Primary School to make it a real celebration for their community and we are so pleased that the sculptures will be in the library until the May 30 to give everyone a chance to enjoy them.”