Exhibited three years ago.

I mmust have been feeling cheerful when I did these paintings plus a batik picture of some fish. The first bottle oven painting is an attempt to do a clarice cliff design. If I did it now I would make the building more curved. The batik is sort of a Pices idea. The dragonfly was an interesting compositon and the half bottle oven is meant to be mirrored by blue sky or water in a canal. It is slightly remenicent of a yin yang symbol. The exhibition was held at the warehouse at Etruria industrial museum at Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent three years ago. At the moment we cannot use the building because of covid19.

Usk challenge ‘what’s good for you’

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Drawn outdoors, we met with an old friend today, properly socially distanced. I was wearing a mask and gloves, and with my glasses on I feel reasonably safe. I ended up drawing my friend and when he went off for a walk I drew the landscape. There were some big trunked willow trees with wrinkly bark in the background, there tiny leaves contrasting with their aged, thick branches and trunks. It has been an overcast day so the colours were not brilliant. After this I took some photos of some interesting views of the area and some of the weedy plants growing along the track. I might post pictures later. When I got home I saw the USK challenge was to draw what’s good for you, and this was it!

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Tidying up

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We use a warehouse (old, small, with hardly any facilities) next to the Trent and Mersey canal for our art group. Most weeks we do art, pottery, painting, drawing etc. Thus week we had to clear out the kitcgen/store so that it can be demolished and rebuilt as a kitchen and a disabled toilet next to it. So we had to clear a lot of stuff out, including a lot of clay. This is only half of the stuff. It was quite heavy to move. I was going to take it away in my car but compromised on storing it in the building. It’s pleasing to be able to do something physical for a change.

Painting mugs

At Etruria Artists today we painted mugs, they were blank white mugs and we used on glaze paints that stay the same colour when they are heated. The most exciting thing is that they can be heated in an ordinary domestic oven. They have to be dried for twenty four hours, then heated at 150°C or gas mark 2 for 35 minutes to bake the colours in.

The outside photo is lock 40 on the Trent and Mersey canal. It was a beautiful morning, bright and sunny. I really do prefer coming to Etruria Artists ‘hands on Art’ at the Warehouse next to the lock in the morning rather than the evening. It is on from 10am to 12 noon if anyone wants to come along.

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Little walk at Etruria

There is plenty to see on a short walk in the area around the Etruria Industrial museum at Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent.

There was a very cold wind blowing along the canal towpath so we only had a short walk. We took a look at the cygnets on the canal, they were on their own so presumably their parents have left them now. I wish we had taken some duck food with us. There were plenty of other birds about including ducks and geese, a rook or crow and magpies.

Some of the industrial buildings in the area are more visible now the leaves are off the trees. One of these is the tall chimney that is on the industrial estate behind Jessie Shirley’s flint and bone mill, which is attached to the Etruria Industrial museum.

One of the boats on the canal had smoke rising from its chimney, which made me think of hot tea and toast. We soon got back to our car, and put the car heater on to warm up. Brrr

Waiting to be fired.

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Finished off my take on an Easter island head this week by hollowing it out and adding texture to the surface. It now needs to dry out so it can be fired. If the clay is wet the water in it will expand and may cause the pottery to blow up. It may not be an accurate representation of these wonderful statues, but I hope it is not disrespectful to model it?

We have started to meet on Thursday mornings at Etruria rather than in the evenings, this means we are there at the warehouse on the Trent and Mersey canal by summit lock 40. From 10am to 12 noon.

* note, we are meeting on an ad hoc basis at the moment dependant on the weather.

At Etruria Artists this morning.

Four of us visited the Warehouse at Etruria today, its by the summit lock 40 on the Trent and Mersey canal, near Etruria Industrial museum, Stoke-on-Trent.

The subject was Easter Island heads, and I decided to try and work out how to slab build it, which is why I did a drawing of it first. Then because we decided to do smaller statues we decided to carve the clay instead. The results are shown in the middle pictures. Finally I talked to my friend Robert, who is a Potter and leader of the group. He explained that we should have glued bits on with slip if we wanted the pieces firing.

The final photo is one of my hubby’s drawings in response to the ideas. I liked what he was doing and took a photo. He explained he was working on ideas from Barbara Hepworth.

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Long weekend

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What a long weekend! Two days manning the pop up exhibition at Etruria. I didn’t have much time to look at the static steam engines on display yesterday or the classic cars today. The place wasn’t buzzing but there was a constant stream of people coming in. Most of them were interested in what we were doing, what the building used to be used for, or decided to let their children make things with clay. A few people walked in took one look and walked out again. Sometimes they even asked where the tea room was.

Etruria Artists had paintings, photos, ceramics, jewellery and even painted stones on display. It was good to share the space with other artists there. I even bought a pottery frog, a mug and a whale.

So many people to talk to, to help, to explain to. I also helped a bit children with modelling clay. My friends usually do this and I just helped when they were not around. We made frogs and ladybirds, and an owl. Sadly I didn’t take any photos of the pieces as I forgot my phone.