A view of St Austell in Cornwall that was at the BCB exhibition recently at Swift House, Stoke-on-Trent. With subtle tones of sepia colour it depicted a semi industrial landscape. I didn’t see a notice but I’m guessing it was made of China clay which has been quarried there for centuries. One of the sites was used to create the Eden Project, a set of giant domed greenhouses or ‘biomes’ which house tropical and arid environments from more equatorial climes.
St Austell is a town in Cornwall inland from the southern coast, in a landscape dotted with abandoned tin mines. It was once the home of a famous poet called Jack Clemo. He was blind but managed to write his poems while supported by his mother in the 1950’s?
Just back from the last day of the BCB (British Ceramic biannual). I would have gone before but my leg restricted my movement. The exhibition was over three floors but luckily there was a lift. Of the numerous ceramics my favourites were a series of mosaics by a ceramic artist called Cleo Mussi. I will post other photos but I wanted to share these.
One thing I did do yesterday was make a couple of pieces clay that might be used as part of a tiled piece at the BCB (British Ceramic Biennial in September at Spode in Stoke, Stoke-on-Trent. They will be fired up and someone else may end up glazing them.
I made lots of marks using old buttons and metal rings. I tried to give them a three dimensional look. I hope they won’t explode on the kiln.
It’s good finding different things to do when you are having a day out.
The BCB, British Ceramic Biannual, was on in the Spode China Halls last year. Fine China and art pottery cheek by jowl. I do hope it happens again next year. Bringing art into Stoke-upon-Trent and the rest of the city of Stoke-on-Trent and spreading creativity that sadly seems to have been forgotten by government during this pandemic.
Art has just as much a right as any other industry to continue in this world. Creativity and the power of the mind are linked. Science can go hand in hand with art. What we need to do is try and support everyone, not be selective towards the richest and devil take the hind most.
These are my pottery pieces from the BCB, British Ceramic Biennial that is on at the China Halls at Spode until this weekend.
The two pieces are an ironic and unique take on staffordshire pottery flatware (with flat backs).
The first is a boat with Trumps head in it, feet in boots or socks heading in the other direction. There is a happy lion on the prow and the crucifixion at the top with people weeping on either side. Barrels and boxes are piled up at the stern where a white sale flaps in the wind. A monkey sits above the prow watching the scene. I named it Trump mania.
The second piece is called OMG, a couple stand caught in horror as something catches their eyes. Their hands over their mouthed in shock. I enjoyed adding details to the figures. I realise these are not the run of the mill figures, that is why it was even more fun.
We went to the British Ceramic Biennial today, at the Spode Site in Stoke, to glaze a piece of pottery I made last week. The weather was very bad and we got soaked on the way into the exhibition. When we came out the rain had cleared up and the sun was out. I took some photos of the wet surfaces. It’s always good to notice changes caused by weather conditions and variations in lighting.
Dust rising (or Dust 19) is a group show by artists being held at Spode alongside the British ceramic biennial which is currently on till mid October.
This is me with one of the plates that have been created out of transfer prints. (if you look over my left shoulder the green patterns on the window are where the image comes from).
It’s amazing what’s going on here. We might be a bit down in the dumps but Stoke-on-Trent is so full of creativity. There is still a full time Fine Art course at Staffordshire University which is quite unusual in the current economic climate.
Stoke-on-Trent is situated in the middle of beautiful countryside. You can’t complain if you want places to visit.
It had to happen, I’ve moved things round so people can get into the studio for the two open days tomorrow and on Sunday. I got rid of a bit of junk and moved some paintings around. I’ve also moved my big table to the back of the studio instead of its old position where it was not really being used. What I do need a small table to put my paints and palette on. Maybe an old stool or something. I have another chair which I could use but it has a back which might get in the way.
So I’ve got two days to try and meet and greet people. If you come along you will also see a fantastic exhibition of people’s idea of what Spode meant to them, and of course the British Ceramic biannual in the Spode China halls will have started so there will be so much to see. Enjoy!