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The creative focus in East Ayrshire over the coming months is on pottery, with a programme of exhibitions and events that demonstrate the fantastic range of practical and decorative objects that can be made with clay. Saturday February 23 sees the start of five free workshops, held on consecutive Saturdays at the Dick Institute in Kilmarnock, where children and adults can drop in and make a piece of pottery with the help of a resident ceramicist.

Participants can look for inspiration to a new exhibition in the main art gallery by leading ceramicist Simon Ward, who combines everyday objects, such as wooden mug "trees", with his own delicate porcelain shapes to create unique works of art.

The exhibition, "Something Out of Ordinary", which runs until March 29, also features a selection of some of the hundreds of objects that Simon has collected from his travels around the world and from charity and second-hand shops and car boot sales, which he uses as inspiration for his own work.

At East Ayrshire's Doon Valley Museum in Dalmellington, an exhibition tracing the story of the pottery industry in Ayrshire from the late 1700s to the early 19th century runs until March 22. It has examples of pieces produced in Kilmarnock and Cumnock for tourists to the area. South-west Scotland's "Future Museum" website - - has a display on the history of Ayrshire pottery.

The Baird Institute in Cumnock is currently showing an exhibition of new ceramic work produced by people of all ages and abilities throughout the region, including a dinner service decorated by students from Cumnock College. It runs until March 22, when it will swap over with the historic ceramics show in Dalmellington.

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