Jo Atherton
Info for Schools
Contact Details

I am a professional artist who works in print, weave and ceramics. I delight in the opportunity to share my skills and be part of a learning environment, believing creativity is an essential element of education. I will always strive to provide an infectious level of enthusiasm in my workshops. I have exhibited throughout the UK and abroad as well as being invited to speak about my work at a number of events.

Most recently, my work has been inspired by the tideline, seen in my unique tapestries woven from beachcombing finds and prints created from flotsam. This topic has opened up many interesting discussions around recycling, the environment, geography and even storytelling alongside the artwork.

I was selected as Artist in Residence at North Hertfordshire College where I had the chance to work on a ceramics project and gain valuable teaching experience, working with 16-18 year olds. Following on from this enjoyable experience, I was then chosen to be Artist in Residence at St Francis’ College in Letchworth for the 2013/14 academic year where I supported the Art Department teaching ceramics on the pottery wheel, textured tile making and mixed media weaving. These residencies built on my experience of teaching English in China during 2006 which was a formative experience for me. Read my Artist blog here.

If you are interested in a workshop, after discussing your initial requirements, I will produce a detailed proposal to cover workshops themes, a lesson plan and outline of costs. We can then design the workshop to accommodate any projects or curriculum themes. I am also interested in running an after school pottery club.

Workshops I am offering:

Mixed media weaving

Learn how to weave your own mixed media tapestry using everyday objects. I have exhibited my ‘flotsam weaving’ throughout the UK which is made from materials discovered on the beach, but ‘flotsam’ could also refer to any items that are unwanted or found. Pupils will work on a small loom made from a repurposed picture frame and experiment with a variety of techniques and materials to create a truly unique tapestry. Each student will work with a variety of textures, colours and everyday objects whilst learning basic weaving techniques.


The session will enable pupils to produce a number of tiles inspired by the natural environment and learn how to build up layers to experiment with pattern and texture. Working with hedgerow plants, shells and other natural forms, tiles are impressed with effective botanical shapes. Working to the limited area of a tile allows pupils to focus on a manageable project within a given timescale. The advantage of everyone working to the same shape also means that the finished work can be displayed as a striking permanent installation in the school if desired. I would also be delighted to discuss any ceramic project and tailor a workshop to your distinct needs as I have experience of teaching many building techniques to a wide variety of age groups.

After school clubs

As well as workshops, I am also available to run a weekly after school pottery club. Projects could include pinch pots, hanging ornaments, animal sculpture, candle holders, beads, Christmas decorations and tiles. Ideal for presents, but great for older GCSE and A Level students to experiment in clay for larger coursework projects.

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Fee Structure:

I charge £50 per hour plus materials. Typically looms for my flotsam weaving workshop are £1.50 per pupil and costs for a tile project are around £4 per pupil to include clay, firing and glazing. All fees will be included in my initial proposal for you to see a detailed breakdown of the workshop cost.


Name of referee 1: Rebecca Hayes, Head of Art

Name of school: St Francis’ College, Letchworth, Hertfordshire

Contact details:

Name of referee 2: Lesa Welch, Head of Art

Name of school: Stratton Upper School, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire

Contact details:

Other information:

Insurance: Public Liability Insurance held

Safeguarding: DBS/CRB/Safeguarding Policy held.

Contact Name
Jo Atherton
Caleb’s Cottage, 5 The Green, Harrold, Bedfordshire. MK43 7DB
01234 721554 / 07879016701