Meri Wells Workshop : Ysgol Gynradd, Machynlleth

Commemorative panels and memory towers for new school

Meri Wells Workshop : Ysgol Gynradd, MachynllethThese ceramic panels were commissioned to commemorate the old school building, which was due to close, and be installed in the new school on a different site.

Research began with a coffee evening to which former pupils, staff and members of the community were invited. The pupils distributed questionnaires they had formulated and from the results were able to invite certain people back into the school.

Mr. Humphries, former pupil and later school caretaker, was one who returned to share memories.

Meri Wells Workshop : Ysgol Gynradd, Machynlleth The pupils used the written information to produce pictures which recreated the moments of history in the school.

Meri Wells Workshop : Ysgol Gynradd, MachynllethLarge collaged together images of the drawings are used as templates for the panels and all the information was transferred to the clay sheets. The panels were built in relief and slip decorated before firing.

To enrich the pupils educational experience all the children were brought to Caecarrog for a day of raku firing (pictured below). The children took part in every stage of the process, from making to firing and quenching their own work.

Meri Wells Workshop : Ysgol Gynradd, MachynllethThe final panels were installed in the main hall and foyer of the new school building as a lasting reminder of the former Junior school.

In addition to the panels three brick and ceramic columns were erected in the school grounds consisting of clay pressings of interesting architectural features from the old building - grids, door handles, floors, even the dinner lady's hands.

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