Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 09.12.28Around 600 students at a Newcastle primary school designated as outstanding by Ofsted have had a brush with the art world thanks to the creative talents of a Northumberland woman whose pottery painting business is firing up interest amongst the educational and corporate world.

Lorna Watkinson from Warkworth took her redundancy after working for 17 years for Procter and Gamble in the media-advertising department to start her own business, Rainbow Pottery Painting in 2012

Her mobile pottery-painting studio goes wherever her customers need her and lately she has had a large amount of success across schools in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland including a primary school in Warkworth where she originally contacted her local school.


The latest project at West Jesmond Primary School is her largest to date with 587 children painting their own interpretations of famous artists work on ceramic tiles. The project involved 21 classes from Reception to Year 6 and took Lorna a full week to complete. Once painted, Lorna took each tile away for firing in her own kiln before returning them to the school for distribution to the children and their parents.

“My sessions are so much more than simply decorating a piece of pottery,” she said. “The art project was linked into the curriculum and every workshop is based on experiential learning. The pupils have a lot of fun creating their own masterpiece but they are also learning about textures, colour and the pottery process itself. Couple this with the educational content and each session becomes a complete learning experience for the youngsters.”

The children’s entire pottery collection was given pride of place at the school for everyone to see before the proud parents were given the chance to raise funds for the school by buying the tile as a unique souvenir of their child’s work.

Other examples of projects include creating painted plates and tiles that become lasting mementos of a child’s time at the school.  Lorna has even supplied unique fathers day presents in the form of handprints by early years children.

“My work is very versatile, said Lorna. “Although this project was about art, I can cover any aspect of the curriculum including history and maths.

“The process for each workshop is very similar whether it’s for a class of 30 or a whole school. For example, the history workshop gives the pupil the opportunity to create images on pottery from key points in the history curriculum such as World War 2. It’s a fun way to learn and the experience helps the child to retain key information”

Teacher Mel Byers was delighted with the work carried out by Lorna.

“” Lorna works tirelessly to help the children create their designs, giving clear instructions, and helping when needed. The children really enjoyed working with her and learning a new skill at the same time as reinforcing more traditional aspects of the curriculum.“

As well as working in schools, Lorna takes her unique workshops to local community groups, care homes and small businesses. She is also working with larger corporate businesses to provide team building and staff development sessions.

Rainbow Pottery Painting can be found at