Not a swimming pool

Through the door of the warehouse looking out over lock forty of the Trent and Mersey canal. Steps lead up from the depths of the deep lock, picked out in white paint amidst the concrete sides of the canal. Behind me on the other side of the warehouse the Cauldon canal flows. It is higher up than the Trent and Mersey canal until lock forty raises it to the same level. The warehouse is slightly damp inside which may be to do with its position between the two arms of the canal. I like ‘views through’ things, like views into windows and through foliage.

Inside the warehouse…

While covid has been happening the warehouse where we used to hold our Etruria art group on a Thursday morning has been transformed. The blue walls have been painted white and a disabled toilet has been added, with a little kitchen bay in the main room. Hopefully they will fix the roof as there are several loose tiles.

Unfortunately there may be a problem with the art group continuing to use it. Perhaps pottery is too messy? We have yet to hear if we will be allowed to go back after the lockdowns end. We live in hope. It would be good to go back there and make use of it again.

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.