horse on its side

OK, I dont know why I like this

but this horse

on its side

could be stone

waiting to be carved

hewn out of rock

pumice from a volcano

found in an ancient town

or modern art

tipped sideways to shock

graffitti painted in white

on a famous building?

or slapped onto shutters

before they open

to the next day’s sun.

Beautiful brickwork

I don’t know much about bricks, except that they are fired clay. But I do like to see them when they are used decoratively. The way they are laid is called the ‘bond’ where it depends whether they are laid horizontally across the surface of the wall, or with the short end showing on the face of the wall and the length turned 90° so that the brick is across into the layer behind or allows the wall to turn the corner at the edge of the building.

As you can see from this photo, different coloured bricks are often used to make patterns and shapes in the brickwork or are used to frame tiled areas of text stating when the building was built.

I also know that brick sizes changed over time. That they were smaller in the past and hand made. Then molds were made and the brick sizes became standardised. I don’t know all the history of that sorry.

Gargoyle

Or some sort of stone carving. Whatever he is, he’s a bit frightening!

Seen in Cherished Chimneys in Longport he was staring out from among the chimney pots and pottery. I had to take a photo as he was so cute (for an angry dog!). I was impressed by the carving of the chain round his neck and his huge canine teeth. I guess he is a piece of architectural salvage, though I’m not sure which building he would have come from. Or maybe he was on a gatepost at a large country house? I suppose Britain’s heritage means we have a lot of things like this from when buildings are torn down. A lot of old houses have been demolished, fallen into ruin, or just been abandoned over the centuries. Their loss is our gain.

Idea

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How to depict art cuts?

Hear no, see no, speak no art?

Art is the senses.

Art is creativity.

Art is music, words, poetry.

Art IS life.

Take it away

Stultifying, crippling.

Education should educate

Should help create.

Where will our designers be?

Our musicians,

Architects?

Hairdressers?

Anything that adds something.

To bland and boring

Hard working

Reality.

Art…

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The Sunday Times newspaper has run an article which compares essential and non essential workers.

Their survey had a list of images, essential has doctors I think at the top, and artists at the top of non essential jobs. So it says artists are the least essential workers?

I feel this argument should be challenged.

So no one ever designs things using their artistic skills, or paints scenery, or designs art for their walls, or cars, or wallpaper, or covers for books, or diagrams for science books, or medical textbooks. Or designs for online gaming art, or creating beautiful jewellery, or clothes or shoes. Or patterns on China and pottery. No art is used in news papers to show images of essential or non essential workers, how could anyone be employed to illustrate anything? No one ever read a cartoon or a children’s book! Obviously……! No one ever drew rainbows for the NHS. Children don’t need art to learn how to understand biology or architecture or any other complex concept. Richard Feynmann and Steven Hawking never used pictures to explain their theories of quantum mechanics. What about technical drawing? But… statues are now grey boxes, Leonardo is a turtle…. And he was never drawn!

Old architecture.

I didn’t take many photos at Stoke Sings because I wasn’t sure people would approve, but I did take some photos of the inside of the hall. It’s surprising because externally it’s all modern glass and metal and neat brickwork. But inside the old fittings and fixtures remain. BUT… That’s good because the acoustics are fantastic. The composer Edward Elgar even said it had  some of the best acoustics in the country. Clearly the people of Stoke-on-Trent loved their music very much.

Collapsing hotel

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This poor wrecked old hotel sits forlorn opposite the Burslem school of art. There is also the wedgewood institute built directly opposite the school, but that’s had work done on it to restore it.

It’s good that a few buildings are being preserved, but the old hotel is interesting with its turrets and bay windows. Is it too far gone? Possibly, the roof partly collapsed last week and the road was cordoned off by the police and fire brigade last week. Now wooden boards form a wall round it and it’s ground floor windows, which had been shops, look sad and run down.

Burslem is the mother town, the oldest of the six pottery towns. Its sad to see its magnificent architecture in such decline.

Burslem is all on a slant, I think it’s suffering a lot if subsidence due to either a fault line or mining. A lot of buildings seem to be affected by this. I wonder if anything will be done about it?

Balcony

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Wherefore art thou?

High up on the wall of the Brampton museum and art gallery is a lovely balcony. I want to visit the room and look out over the parkland in front of the museum but I think its probably a store room.

I think it’s a sweet little touch to the architecture of the place. I’ve visited before but never noticed it until today. Probably because the strong sunlight and shadows picked it out against the brickwork.

Modern architecture can be startling and revelatory, but details like this should be cherished.

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Photo walk

About 5 years ago we went on a photo walk around the north of the city of Stoke on Trent in a town called Tunstall. The idea was to do a circular walk encompassing greenways around the town that used to have a rail line and that runs between terraced houses on a raised path. There are bridges over paths and tunnels driven through the ground.

I used my old phone so the images are not brilliant. The day started overcast then it started to snow as we walked along the path. We came out onto the side of a newly built section of road then followed the path round up a hill before coming out at an old pub (can’t remember it’s name) where we stopped off for lunch and sat next to a real coal fire to warm up. Then off through local streets to finish near where we started outside the local health centre.

Photos include trees, train signals, walking along the path. A terraced house. The corrugated side of one of the tunnels. One of the metal greenaway signs, a dandelion growing on the side wall of part of the path, and bracket fungus growing on an old wooden post.

I’m hoping to go on another photo walk, may be when the weather is a bit better. The idea of looking at industrial and post industrial landscapes fascinates me.

Jodrell

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I still think this is one of the most exciting places to visit.  Jodrell Bank in Cheshire. It is a massive structure whuch us dedicated to looking at the universe in the radio part of the spectrum. It has been responsible for some of the mist important radio astronomy since it was built in the mud twentieth century.

The telescope was built by the university of Manchester and is out in the countryside because it was away from the radio frequency noise of cities in the North and Midlands of England.

The complex has a beautiful visitor centre, cafe, lecture halls and science space full of fascinating information about the dolar system, our galaxy, and into the far out reaches of the universe. There is also an amazing arbouretum full of specimen trees and a map of the planet’s. I don’t have all the details or the prices for entry, but if you are ever in the area its worth a visit.