I’ve just dropped off a few paintings to the Arts and Minds Gallery at Harper Street in Middleport opposite Middleport Pottery. I have asked them to do some cards from them and they have also taken the pictures to sell for me. It’s really pleasing to have my work included there. The galley has a wide range of beautiful art work. It also is part of a network that supports local veterans and their families. I have been able to show and sell work there because my hubby has a link to the military.
The gallery is warm and friendly and are always supportive. I think it helps that it doesn’t feel exclusive and snobbish. It’s in a great place too, helping to expand the creative area around Middleport pottery in Middleport, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.
I decided to do a bonus small painting to go with my bigger close up of a poppy. It’s called red poppy. It’s hard to come up with an original title. Lots of red used in these but I’ve tried to vary them and give that wrinkled feeling that poppies have.
Today at the Brampton open exhibition. I found my barn owl painting in a good position, not tucked away out of site. Earlier I’d been to Art and Minds in Middleport and was asked to paint an extra painting for a quiet area in the gallery. Both gave me a little bit of joy in a sad time. Perhaps I will start planning the painting tomorrow.
Opposite the new art venue in Middleport is a small unit called Nickiebees Cupcakes. I popped in to see what they had. I asked about cakes without frosting (too much sugar in it) and we had a chat about whether it’s possible to use a sugar substitute to make the butter cream icing. Afterwards I went back and bought a couple of freshly baked cupcakes. They looked like perfect Victoria sponges. When I got home I went and got some clotted cream and blueberries. I cut the tops off the cakes, cut the tops in half, spread the cream over the cut surface. Then I put the tops back on like butterfly wings. I spooned a little more cream on top and studdied the cream with fresh blueberries. What a tasty treat! Had with a cup of decaff coffee. Tasty and not as sugary as fully frosted!
At the far end of Luke Street, Middleport, Stoke-on-Trent, are steps down to a footpath along the line of a long filled in canal and towpath.
The overgrown shrubbery and weeds have recently been beaten back to reveal a pathway to lead up to Burslem in one direction and down to the Trent and Mersey canal in the other.
When the canal was open there was a bakery next to it that supplied thousands of loaves to the potteries. This is being celebrated by the Baker boys choir next weekend during a festival which will see an art installation being erected down on the canal at Middleport.
Hopefully I will be singing with the choir at the festival. X
Pottery bottle oven, Longport, Stoke-on-Trent. Next to the Trent and Mersey canal. I can’t remember the name of the pottery sorry. I think there are only 32 of these old pottery ovens left in Stoke-on-Trent. A few, like at Middleport pottery and the Gladstone Pottery museum are preserved and in good condition. Others are derelict or semi derelict. A few are just the bases of them left on the ground. Some are being rescued and repurposed, but others are dreadfully neglected as this one is.
Bottle ovens/kilns and enamel kilns burn at different temperatures. They were different shapes, the enamel ones are thinner. The outside bottle shape has a doorway into it and surrounds a cylindrical kiln where the pottery is placed. The pottery itself is stacked in ‘saggars’- round or oval shaped covers that protect the ceramics as the kiln is ‘fired’. These old fashioned kilns were heated with coal. The clay and fires lead to lung diseases, which were also found in local miners. As coal firing was stopped because of the clean air act many of these potteries closed or converted to gas firing in modern kilns. Old photos from the turn of the 19th century show many bottle ovens all over the city and the pall of smoke they created.
Stoke-on-Trent has clay, water and coal in abundance which is why the pottery industry set up here as well as a few other places in the UK. There are many books about the industrial archaeology of the area are available. Other information can be found at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in the city centre (Hanley), Stoke-on-Trent.
It’s a lovely little cat with yellow and black decoration. It’s only small, about 7 inches tall. He’s smart and adds to my ornaments on the mantlepiece. Emma does larger cats and lots of other objects. The ceramics have designs that are reminiscent of Clarice Cliff pottery from the 1930’s.
Emma Bailey ceramics is based at Middleport pottery in Middleport, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. Check opening times as the pottery is open at the moment.
This is one of the mugs I bought from Emma Bailey Ceramics. She’s done a run of them to celebrate Penkhull Winning the #WorldSeriesOfFlags from the #theflaginstitute. Great fun. Bonus, if you live in Penkhull you get a discount!
So pleased with them. Its also good because we won the #FACupOfFlags. I helped design the flag as part of a competition a couple of years ago. That’s some Christmas presents sorted out.
From ssummer two years ago. A reflection and mirrored image of the canal surface at Middleport. Taken when we went to see the ceramic poppies that were used to decorate the bottle kiln at Middleport pottery. The art work of thousands of ceramic poppies travelled round Britain in 2018, to celebrate the centenary of the end of the First World War in 1918. If I find a photo of the poppies I will share it.
I like to try and sketch things when I’m visiting places, and this is my attempt at a steam engine when we were visiting. Middleport pottery in August 2018.i don’t know why I thought it was bad, it doesn’t look too awful now in hindsight. I can be too critical of myself sometimes. It’s a bit wonky but when you are trying to draw a moving bit of machinery it’s not easy. Anyway I’m publishing it, so I’ve forgiven myself for my mistakes.
Black ink pen on cartridge paper, it’s probably in one of my numerous sketchbooks, somewhere in the pile of drawings and sketches I have built up over the years.