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Adding colour to Whitworth Clay

Every year a group of young entrepreneurs, aged 13 – 14 years, apply to become a key team member of Fresh Made Trade (FMT). This is in its third year and provides a live creative business opportunity for young people from Manchester Academy to design product for the Whitworth’s shop.



Generally products have been inspired by the Gallery’s exhibitions or collections, but this year the inspiration has come from the new build and the park. The products will be made using clay dug up from the park as part of the building work taking place at the gallery. This clay has been treated to remove any impurities and has a warm tone to it once it has been fired. Students looked at the button collection at the Gallery of Costume in Rusholme to further inform their final designs working alongside artist Lucy Burscough.


After a week of hard work, FMT produced hundreds of samples of small clay products using a variety of techniques to produce images and textures. Yesterday FMT glazed some of their creations using copper, manganese and iron oxides. It has turned out to be quite a scientific process measuring out glazes, using dentist tools to carve and latex gloves to ensure that there is no contamination between the glazes.Image


Once these samples have been fired, FMT will present their final designs to the Gallery’s commercial team to discover which products will be sold in the shop one the gallery re-opens in October 2014.  So do come along to the shop to see their final designs.



All the FMT participants will gain a Bronze Arts Award as part of this experience. This award recognizes each students’ participation in and understanding of the arts, including researching their arts hero and sharing their new skills with other students at their Academy.


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