This is what I have been stopping up and doing for the last few nights. Painting lots of pictures for this exhibition.

I am a member of a group called Etruria Artists and we meet on Thursday night’s to do hands on Art sessions. I really would encourage anyone to have a go at doing art whether its painting, sculpture, pottery, printmaking, photography.

Life is sometimes a drudge, getting to the end of the week. No break from the weekly grind of work. That is where art comes in. Whether its colouring books, or contemporary painting, and everything in between, art gives your creativity the release it needs. You can come to us on a Thursday night and have a go.

We are based in the warehouse by lock number 40 (summit lock) of the Trent and Mersy Canal. Just up the canal from the Etruria Industrial Museum, past the forge where Sculpted Steel creates wonderful metallic sculptures.

Anyway we are there on Saturday and Sunday. There are also static steam engines on Saturday and Classic cars on Sunday. Fun for all the family .

Its Wednesday. ..

I think this is finished now, although I might change the blues…. added cat for scale ūüėÄ.

I’m go I to start doing some more paintings as I want some new work for an exhibition I’m in this weekend at Etruria Industrial museum.

My green man/woman pictures are built around the idea of tiles which were made in Stoke-on-Trent at factories like Mintons.

I also want to do some small paintings based on classic cars because the exhibition is at the same time as a classic car rally and a static steam engine event. That’s this weekend at Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent.


Exhibition time

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It’s that time of year when I have a small exhibition of work at Etruria. An area of Stoke on Trent in the Staffordshire.¬† This year it came round fast.¬† I didn’t really know it was going to happen till a couple of days ago. I think I was feeling a bit down and so I hadn’t organised things very well.

The building it is in is an old warehouse next to the Trent and Mersey, and Cauldon canals. It’s a very old building, with an old canoe up in the rafters, and half a model canal boat up high at one end I the room. It also has some of the largest long legged spiders I have ever seen….but thankfully once I had set up they went into hiding.

Anyway its happened, its up. I’m selling cards and necklaces as well as paintings. I am not really good at doing that. I can be polite, helpful, and enjoy explaining the work I have done, but I don’t like selling, putting a price on things.

I’ve spoken to a few artists recently and they feel the same way. They want to be creative, because they are creative, not because they want to run a business. …

Anyway I think people enjoyed what they saw at the exhibition, I had some good feedback.

What  want to do now is start working on new art!

Organ grinders

One thing about Britain, and in this case specifically England is that we have our fair share of eccentrics, collectors, restorer’s and skilled artisans.

Today was a case in point. I met some lovely people who restore and make their own organs and are known as organ grinders because they turn a handle at the back of the machine to work a set of bellows to play music.

Apparently you can get various sorts of organs. A lady showed me how hers worked, with a roll of paper, held on a tube (a bit like a toilet roll). As she turned the handle to pump the bellows the paper roll passed over a series of holes attached to pipes at the top of the machine. the paper was slightly waxy or plasticised, it had small holes cut in it and as each set of holes lined up with the organ pipes it played a note, pipes that were covered with the paper did not play. The lady told me the organ was made in Germany by a famous maker. Sadly I forgot to get a note of his name.

Other organs music was on flat peices of card joined together like a jacquard pattern for weaving. One even had a sim card in it and all the player (grinder) had to do was turn the bellows handle.

The owners of the machines were all dressed in Victorian costume and were dotted around the Etruria Industrial museum. They were there for there national meeting and had come from all around the country. They are staying for a week and will be here until next Sunday.




Short notice I know….Its a steaming weekend with tours round the Etruria Industrial museum. The steam engine for Jessie Shirleys bone and flint mill will be fired up and the forge will be open further along the Trent and Mersy canal where it joins with the Cauldon canal. Also I think there will be organ grinders there. The exhibition¬† will be in the warehouse and hands on pottery is also on, run by Etruria Artists. The canal warehouse is by lock 40 on the trent and mersey. The weekend coincides with the opening of weeping window just down the canal at Middleport, this consists of thousands of poppies made out of clay and painted red. They are displayed pouring down the outside of the bottle oven at the Middleport pottery in Burslem.

The Flint mill is over the canal from Kilndown close, Etruria, stoke-on-Trent…¬† Come and see us if you can!

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!


Etruria Artists are opening up again tonight

FB_IMG_1517207844064Now that we are through the worst if the winter weather  (hopefully) Etruria Artists are opening up the warehouse at Etruria Locks in Stoke on Trent again.

Situated in an old warehouse on the Trent and Mersey canal in Stoke on Trent, it is near to the Etruria Industrial museum, which sits on the junction of the Canal with the Caldon branch of it.

The sessions run from 7 to 9 pm on a Thursday evening and should run regularly except when people are on holiday. Situated along the canal towpath from the museum. Walk past the forge and a few yards further on the warehouse stands next to the summit lock (lock 40).  It can be quite dark along the path so its an idea to bring a torch. The warehouse should be lit up when you arrive. Come on in.

The idea is that you can come in and get into doing art. There us a pottery wheel and you can throw pots or hand build ceramics. There is usually paper and paints and pencils available with people from the group happy to help you create your own work.

A small charge of £5 a session is made to cover costs. So why not come along and enjoy a stress busting session at the warehouse?

EDIT: we are not meeting this week, 12.4.18 …but should be opening next week again….