Plum Club create wonderful sculptures during Heart of the Sperrins art project

IT WAS very fitting that the first group to take part in the Heart of the Sperrins project was situated exactly there.

Twelve members of the Plum Club enjoyed the opportunity to choose a craft and take part in a six-week craft class of their option, in this case ceramics with local potter Leona Devine.

These ladies who travel into Plumbridge from across the picturesque Sperrins to enjoy lunch and the company of their peers have spent their Thursday mornings creating a pottery village, using slab clay building methods and decorating them in their own unique styles.

Under Leona’s skilled tutorship, each person learnt the basics on a small scale and then used those skills to create and decorate a larger house, church or lighthouse so they have wonderful artwork to share with their families.

Many of the decorated smaller pieces tell the history of shops and workplaces from their childhood, storytelling in three dimensions- indeed the basic for storytelling project.

Talking to the ladies toward the end of the course they spoke of how much they enjoyed this first experience of working in clay and with the artist, Leona.

They said there was little time to chat as they were so intent in getting they pieces ready for biscuit firing, painting the decorations and the final glaze, but all of them very proud of their handy work.

Hopefully the general public will get a chance to see this on display at the Summer Jamm in Strabane in mid-June.

The project is an older Peoples Project funded by the Arts Council NI lottery funding through Derry City and Strabane District Council and it targets older members living in the most rural community areas across Derg, Sperrins and Faughan Wards.

The project is running for six-months to encourage people over 60 years to participate in the arts and culture.

Anyone wishing to learn more about the project or think they may be eligible to participate please contact Jean Smyth on 07730900610 or via email at: jean.smyth@derrystrabane.com.

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