I just watched a programme about pottery on the TV. It’s set at the Gladstone Pottery Museum in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. I like it because people have to do challenges, tonight’s was to create three low relief birds, in a small medium and large sizes. Each one had to represent a real bird. One person did three macaws, another kingfishers, a third falcons. Each contestant made really interesting birds, the standard was very high. One person got Potter of the week, one got eliminated. Its good to see an art based programme with real skills.

The drawing above is a digital finger painting I dis in ArtRage oils a few years ago. It’s meant to be a multicoloured pigeon.

Spitfire gallery

We also visited the new Spitfire Gallery at the Potteries Museum and Art gallery today. Our local council spent millions on the gallery to house a Spitfire E (with shortened wings for low altitude flying). But then earlier this year they decided to reduce the museum opening hours. This means it will be closed two days a week. The Gladstone Pottery Museum will also be closing for five months a year due to council plans to cut budgets. There is outrage in Stoke on Trent. We realise that this will affect tourism in the city and that it is cultural vandalism. But that is what you get when you are ruled by ‘bean counters’ knowing the cost of everything and the value of nothing as the saying goes.

Callous Culture Cuts for Stoke Museums Undermines Future Chances of Tourism In The City

Permanent Five Month Closure for Gladstone and 13 Jobs Lost In Museum Shakeup

Callous Culture Cuts for Stoke Museums Undermines Future Chances of Tourism In The City

I saw this on WordPress Reader and had to share. The council claim its only a minimal cut (of around £600,00!). Its important that our industrial heritage is saved, otherwise Stoke on Trent would lose its raison d’etre.

Virtual sketch out…

Enjoyed the virtual sketch out today with #uskstoke ! I drew our house off Google maps, it was too cold and wet to stand outside. Anyone who knows where I live knows my views out of the house are limited so I drew two other places I know from photos too! Oh how I wish I could get out more…. They are Gladstone pottery museum and Penkhull church. Both drawn as snowy scenes so at least they look a bit like the weather today….

Moss on a wall

Moss klinging to the church wall. That wall is blackened by years of coal smoke pollution that was burnt on house hearths and to fire up the bottle ovens that fired the pottery made in old factories. In those days I doubt that moss would have grown on the church wall even in Penkhull village which stands on a hill above most of the city. The city has transformed over the years and is now much cleaner.

You can see photos of the hundreds f bottle ovens that crowded the city. The smoke belched out of them. Look up the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery and Gladstone Pottery Museum on the net for more information.

Falcon works

A couple of paintings I did two years ago? They were on display in the waiting room gallery at Longport. These are paintings of the Falcon Works behind Portmeirion pottery in Stoke-on-Trent. A lot of these buildings are either falling down or just sitting empty. I wish some of them could be restored. There is a wonderful place called the Black Country Museum in Dudley I think in Central England. They have rebuilt many old buildings on the site so you can visit and see the history of industry and businesses in England. There are some museums in Stoke-on-Trent which are smaller versions. For example the Gladstone pottery museum. It’s a real shame that so many old buildings are being allowed to fall into rack and ruin.

Bathroom ceramics


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!