International Women’s Day 2018


I just found this sketch of International Women’s Day from about a year ago. I had a stall with art for sale at Burslem school of Art. I think this was the first time I ever drew the main gallery and I also tried to draw the banner that was on display there.

The school of art is very crooked. Burslem is old and suffers from subsidence or is undermined by coal mines. The whole of the city is built on clay and coal and the coal field under the city has caused a lot of damage over the years. Parts of the city also have geologic faults running underneath them so it’s not surprising that the buildings are affected.

There is also a volcanic plug  where I live, the very base of an ancient volcano that was worn away by erosion over thousands or millions of years. The hill that is left dominates the valley of the river Trent, but the ground rises in other places too. There are coal tips (slag heaps) where the spoil from the collieries was dumped as the coal was hewn from the ground.

The wonder of Pottery and artistic design was the result of the geology in Staffordshire.

More industrial art

Stoke on Trent was one if the first places to embrace the Industrial revolution.


Pottery, coal mining, making steel.  The start of canal building all happened in Stoke.

Wedgwood and Brindley, together with Spode, Machin, Cliff, Cooper and other famous men and women transformed the local towns into a place where industry could thrive.

It was late in the twentieth century when that industry started to wane following movement of some jobs abroad and the closure of the mines and steel industry, then gradually a lot of the smaller potteries in the area also closed.

The decline bought about dereliction of many of the older buildings that make up the heritage of the city, some collapsing through neglect.  Others torn down to make way for supermarkets and warehousing.  But through it all a lot if the old character remains.  Leaving old rows of terraced houses, once built for the pottery workers and their masters, and old flint mills now transformed into museums.

The heritage of the city is also contained in places like Burslem School of Art, where one famous potteries artist Arthur Berry trained before going to college in London. This was also where Clarice Cliff learned her artistic skills.

I hope to capture more of the industrial landscape before it is transformed,  although at the rate things happen here I don’t doubt that I will have plenty if time!


Getting ready for a stall

20180306_225311After a couple of weeks struggling with a cold I’m now preparing work for a stall at an  international womens day event at Burslem School of Art on Saturday.

That basically means getting paintings together that I can display for sale.

The last time I did something like this was when I sat inside at Spode Studios last November when it was almost as cold inside as outside!  I only sold a few tiny paintings. I have also had a stall in the winter a few years ago. It was cold and I did not sell much. So I have to say I’m a bit nervous of doing it.

At least I have some new business cards and labels done. I’m trying to be more professional.  Is there anything  I should think about?

There should be quite a few crafters there on Saturday. Hopefully it will be a good day.