Monday, June 27, 2011 - 16:32

A ceramic artist will tell the fascinating story of Cornish china clay and show how to make decorative tiles at free workshops in St Austell town centre starting this weekend.

Bodmin Moor-based artist Jenny Beavan will lead the tile-making sessions in a temporary studio space opposite Costa Coffee in White River Place on Saturday, July 2, and Saturday, July 17.

The event is part of the St Austell Live programme hosted by the Eden Project.

As well as telling people the story of Cornish china clay and its unique qualities, Jenny will be encouraging people to make and decorate their own clay tiles.

Visitors can make tiles to take home with them as well as contribute to a large installation to go on display at the Eden Café.

The workshops will start at 10am and again at 1:30pm. They are suitable for anyone aged 12 or over and participants under 16 should be supervised.

There are a limited amount of spaces for each free class, so to book a place, contact or call 01726 818738.

The tile-making sessions are part of the St Austell Live programme which has been funded by a £60,000 grant from Cornwall Council for the Eden Project to undertake an events programme aimed at attracting more people to the town centre.

The programme is part of the £9.5 million Eco-communities Programme of Development awarded to Cornwall Council by the Department of Communities and Local Government.

Another free St Austell Live event starts on the evening of Wednesday, July 13 at the Eden Café, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Café Conversations will be a chance for the people of St Austell and the clay areas to come together and talk about positive community action.

Kicking off the first Café Conversation is the guest speaker Sue Hill, co-founder of Wildworks theatre company, who recently worked with the actor Michael Sheen, Welsh National Theatre and hundreds of people in the community of Port Talbot, Wales, on a collaboration of the play, ‘The Passion’. Her talk will be themed on how local celebrations can help regenerate communities.

Emma Mansfield, St Austell Live programme co-ordinator, said: “The St Austell Live activities have been a real success so far and we are really excited about them getting into full swing this summer. The special events really add to the buzz of the town centre.”

Other St Austell Live events include the Wednesday morning children’s activity sessions from 9:30am to 10:30am. Tots Rocks is a music session for children up to five on July 6, August 10, September 7, October 12, November 9 and December 7, and Little Green Fingers is a growing and storytelling group for parents and toddlers led by Eden’s Pollination Team on July 13, August 17, September 14, October 19, November 16 December 14.