Friday, 11 May 2012

Heaton School is a Fairtrade School
Just over 200 years ago ( 1807 ) Britain passed a bill to abolish
slavery. The people who campaigned for this were
called Abolitionists. One of their supporters was Josiah
Wedgwood, one of Englands most famous potters. He
produced a series of ceramic pieces to advertise the
cause. Some shops at the time advertised that the sugar
in their shops was ‘Slave Free’ just in the same way that
Trade Aid advertises it’s Chocolate as Slave Free.
All good campaigns need a slogan. Wedgwood made
cameo brooches for supporters to wear that featured a
slave in chains, there was a male and a female version,
with the slogan
‘Am I not a man and a brother’ or
‘Am I not a woman and a sister’
We discussed what this meant in class and related this
to our understanding of the humanitarian philosophy
behind Fairtrade and role Fairtrade plays in the
campaign against slavery.

Medallion Josiah Wedgwood 

Wedgwood sugar bowl

Just as we would wear a badge or use a mug promoting
a favourite team or cause so did the Abolitionists. They
might wear one of Wedgwood’s medallions or
brooches or use one of his special ceramics pieces.
The sugar bowl on the table was a good conversation
piece and gave the owner the opportunity to engage
guests in discussion about the plight of slaves.

Other Abolitionist campaign sugar bowls

            Modern Fairtrade campaign mugs

Heaton Pupils were challenged to produce their
own ‘sugar bowl’ that would carry the message of
Fairtrade. They explored techniques and textures
in their test tiles using Fairtrade items and foods,
for example Indian wooden printing blocks, coffee
beans, rice and cloves. We even experimented
with adding coffee waste from plungers and
espresso machines to the clay. A mixture of 50%
Coffee and 50% clay gave a lighter more airy
texture to the clay. The coffee burns out when
fired. We also experimented with cocoa, this
worked well but gave a more smooth texture.
They then designed their bowls and formed them
using a slump mould. Underglazes added colour
or accentuated texture and a clear glaze
completed the process.

Kate  - Elmwood

Seungjun - Otahuna

Rosa  – Rhodes

What will you do to support Fairtrade and Human Rights this
fortnight. Check out
for ideas
This Saturday go global and join in celebrating World Fairtrade
Day with the rest of the world.

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