“We tend to think that the history of Wales is written in coal dust and iron and steel. In fact, it is copper that lies at the heart of Wales’s development as an industrial nation.” – Professor Huw Bowen
The Swansea Copperworks of the nineteenth century was a place of ground-breaking chemistry, and recent archaeological excavations at the Morfa Copperworks uncovered 60 small crucibles, used for testing the quality of copper. That find, along with some amazing individuals, inspired this fantastic free workshop with ceramicist and artist Esther Ley in partnership with Swansea University and in collaboration with 9to90 Creative Community, which invites you to live a part of history and explore the rich story of copper in Swansea by making your own crucible out of clay.
Starting out online as a virtual workshop you will join Esther and her fantastic team who will take you through the making process using free materials whilst also delving into the powerful history and chemistry of the copperworks.
Then, later, towards the summer, we will safely move from the virtual realm, back into the real world for a follow-on activity; where we will be using a Raku kiln to fire the glazes on your creations!
For this we will be experimenting with the use of copper minerals, sawdust, seaweed, and other combustibles, to ‘reduce’ the crucibles you have made and to learn more about the amazing scientific processes taking place.
Finally, your crucibles will be exhibited in the National Waterfront Museum’s White Wall Gallery.
• Due to the locality of the project, we can only take applicants from Swansea and Neath Port Talbot areas.
• Materials will be sent out in the post, so when you sign up please fill in the section with your address.
• When booking please book per person not per family as you will need 1 pack per person.
• Dates and locations for the follow-on activity of firings will be sent out when confirmed.
To find more information about the Swansea Copperworks, here are a few fantastic resources: