Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

A Ceramic Cabbage!

Recovery Curriculum Resources from Leeds Museum and Galleries

These resources are designed to support a recovery curriculum and can be used in any education setting. They complement the ‘Supporting the Return to School for All Pupils’ guidance in Leeds and the PACE approach of playfulness, acceptance, curiosity and empathy.


Red glazed pot in the shape of a cabbage
Burmantofts Pottery Cabbage



The Leeds Fireclay Company or Burmantofts as they were known locally, were well known for trying out new things and experimenting. They developed new styles of pottery and new colours of glaze like this one. This colour is known as Sang de Boeuf which is French for ox blood. Sang de Boeuf sounds a lot fancier!

  • Try translating common colours into different languages and see which pupils prefer.
  • When the pupils are creating artwork, do the different names make them feel differently about the colours?

It may seem odd to us today but this was the first commercially successful red glaze outside of Chinese pottery. To capitalise on their discovery the Burmantofts factory made lots of different red pieces of pottery, even red cabbages.

  • Try playing about with the colours of fruit and vegetables in drawing, painting and photography. Is an orange still and orange if it is blue or pink? 


Acceptance (self-esteem)

When we are little we are less worried about getting art wrong - people can be blue, cats and dogs can be green and it doesn’t matter. As we get older we are told that we should draw and paint in the correct colours but should we?

  • Have a look at the artist Picasso. He famously had what is referred to as a blue period. He used the colour blue to reflect his mood and financial situation both of which were very unhappy. His blue period is also the start of Picasso moving away from straightforward realism into expressing emotion through his art work.  
  • Try creating a picture in any medium in different shades of the same colour that reflect an emotion.  This can be the student’s choice to reflect how they are feeling or an emotion picked at random if that is too confronting.



How do different colours make you feel? Why do we associate different colours with different emotions?

  • Ask pupils to look through coloured film and describe how the colour makes them feel. Try a range of different colours, and get pupils to build them together to make new colours and give that new colour a name.
  • If you have access to computer tablets or digital cameras, most have colour filters built in. Ask pupils to play with colours and take self-portraits. Use the colours to show different moods rather than facial expressions. Again pupils can self-select feelings and emotions or use random emotions.



  • Look at works by different artists that have a strong or dominant colour. Can you tell how the artist was feeling when they created a piece of art? Picasso’s blue period was followed by his rose period when his life was filled with joy and romance.