Turn over club

The back stamp on the bottom of pottery can identify where it was made, it’s country of origin, and sometimes indicate what it’s worth, although sometimes people fake the marks to try and con people thinking a cheap teacup or vase is worth more, sometimes a lot more, than it actually is.

This happens in pottery manufacture across the globe. A Ming dynasty vase might have been made last week, a Delpht plate might have been made somewhere in Britain..

The thing is an inanimate lump of clay can be transformed into something delicately shaped and beautifully glazed or enamelled. People want to know it they are looking at a Clarice Cliff or a Susie Cooper. That’s part of the reason they look. But also if you live in a pottery manufacturing town you want to tell the difference between them. And the turn over can be enlightening!

Orange person walking backwards.

A description…

odd combination

A monkey crying

a lion in a captains cap

Wellington boots

Across the sea..

A boat with cargo

Two life belts

Sails and steam stack

Religious icon and weeping people.

Tree of life,

Amidst it all,

an orange oaf.

Long blond mullet?

Photo from a ceramics event,

Last year,

Challenging history,

Walking backwards

To disaster?

Remembering the BCB

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.

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Tiles

One thing about living in Stoke is that you get to see beautiful pottery. For instance these tiles may be simple for or wall decorations, but they signify the creativity of the City.

You visit the Potteries Museum and art gallery, in the city centre (Hanley), you will see amazing beauty and talent in the history of the city of Stoke-on-Trent.

A whole history and creativity that has gradually dwindled as austerity has crippled the country. Manufacturing has reduced, has been driven offshore by costs, and although some had started to return, the current situation has made things worse again. Life continues…..

Potteries

The ‘Potteries’ is the name people call the city of Stoke-on-Trent in the North Midlands of England.

Built on the coalfields of the area, with an abundance of water and clay, it was an ideal place to start making pottery in factories during the industrial revolution. Bottle kilns, or ovens (so called because of their shape) were built across the six towns of Stoke-upon-Trent, Hanley, Burslem, Tunstall, Fenton and Longton. The six towns were bought together as a Federation in the early twentieth century and this created the city of Stoke-on-Trent.

The Potteries Museum and art gallery is crammed with beautiful ceramics and is situated in the Cultural Quarter of the city centre which is in Hanley. Also worth a visit are the Gladstone Pottery museum in Longton and Middleport pottery in Middleport (near Burslem). There are many places to visit here. Hopefully they will all be open again soon.

Clarice Cliff mural

This the mural I painted at the Leopard of Clarice Cliffs Umbrella design. It is one of several murals I did. They were painted directly onto the walls, but as the original room had several large squares and oblong of flock wallpaper surrounded by wooden framing, the owners stripped the flock paper and covered the patches with lining paper. I then painted on that. For some reason people think the pictures are painted on canvas. They will get a shock if they try and take them down. They would have to remove a layer of plaster probably too…!

Pots

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I’ve bought you a present, said my hubby. I saw it and thought of you! How much did it cost? £5. OK, but we already have three teapots a coffee pot and a cafetiere….? But I wanted to buy you a present.

I got you a glass ornament too. A tree shaped thing with two colourful parrots on branches comes out of a bag. But the cats will break it! I found it a safe space.

I know I’ve got no taste, he said, but I wanted to show you I love you.

OK, thank you, I appreciate it. The coffee set will reside in the summerhouse. (With the spiders).

Blue and yellow.

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I love the colours in this photo which I took at the British Ceramics Biennial held in Stoke-on-Trent last year.

I like the triangular patterning on the body of the pot, and the shape of is neck. I think the blue glaze is painted by hand. I love it. The yellow table surface is a brilliant contrast, making the pot stand out well against it. These primary colours are a lovely combination. 

Bathroom ceramics

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Photo from the Gladstone pottery museum which we visited earlier in the year. The fashion these days is for white ceramic sinks and toilets, but look at the colours that used to be made. There is a rainbow of colours on the shelf above the full sized examples. Style changes as times change. Perhaps the world will go back to bright colours, humans are strange creatures!

Easter Island head

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I’ve been asked to maybe do some pottery with a group at the warehouse at Etruria Industrial museum this morning. I’ve tried to do a digital sketch of one and I will look at photos of them. I can see how to make a slab built pot by rolling sheets of clay out and sticking them together with a bit of slip (clay and water). The only problem will be to get the air out of the clay so if it is fired it doesn’t explode in the kiln my friend has. Wish me luck. I think we will try and draw it first.