Jenny has the technique
Unity member Jenny was made redundant from Wade Ceramics in Burslem at the start of 2010. Jenny, aged 36, had worked at Wade Ceramics for 13 years, a period that incorporated all of her working life. Jenny had previously been studying at Staffordshire University leaving in 1996 with a 2.1 degree in ceramic design.
During her last year with Wades Jenny volunteered for the role of ULR and undertook her Part 1 training at Stoke Trade Union Education. Jenny who took her ULR role very seriously said “It was my job to help my colleagues realise their full potential. The Part 1 training made me aware of just how important it was for people to keep learning especially in the current economic climate, no job is a job for life these days and after completing my course I was keen to get back to Wades and start encouraging my colleagues to go back to learning.”
Jenny also completed her numeracy and literacy courses which were held onsite at Wades as she felt the need to continue updating her skills, especially if she was going to realise her ambitions and continue with her self development.
Jenny added “I am grateful to Wades for supporting me during my training as this has put me back on the ladder of lifelong learning. Since being made redundant I have had the time to reflect and I am more committed than ever to continue improving my skills.”
Due to her redundancy and with the support of Unity along with funding from the Better West Midlands project Jenny was able to enrol on a preparatory teaching course (PTLLS) at Stoke College in 2010.
Jenny said “My long term goals included getting back into the ceramics industry in a more ‘hands on’ creative role or teaching, perhaps in a specialist college providing art therapy for students with disabilities. Being on the PTTLS course gave me the confidence to apply for a job within ceramics doing something I had never considered before”.
Jenny had a successful interview and gained employment with Moorcroft Pottery as a tubeliner after being put forward for the position by Unity’s Resource Centre. (Moorcroft is particularly well-known for employing the tubelining technique as a prominent feature in their designs, as it takes time to perfect and is used only within art pottery, rather than mass production).
The art of tubelining
Jenny said of her new employment “This is a completely new role for me, there is so much to learn, but Moorcrofts are very supportive and there is a great family atmosphere at the factory.” She added “I’m looking forward to entering the annual design competition for employees at Moorcrofts, so that I can combine my artistic talents together with my tubelining and teaching skills.”