A Clarice Cliff pottery pattern that I painted as a mural in the Leopard Hotel in Burslem, Stoke on Trent. The design is called umbrellas. It’s one I would love to own.
Nostalgia is that warm feeling you get when you see or remember old or ancient images or things. I haven’t looked up the actual definition. But things like this, or even old TV shows like The original series of Star Trek, give me a warm fuzzy feeling. I know somehow I’m safe, like I have gone back in time, as a memory or a thing I learned about in the past.
I get the same thing with the James Stewart film It’s a wonderful life. I think nostalgia and being nostalgic must be good and calming for the mind. The equivalent of a mental sigh.
I’m excited, a film about the life of Clarice Cliff, the Art Deco pottery painter and designer has just come out on film. I’ve also found out some of my friends are extras in the film! I want to find out if I can go and see it at a local screening.
Clarice Cliff is famous for designs such as “bizzare” and other geometric shaped pots painted in colourful and stylish patterns. She was working in the 1930’s at the same time as other paintresses such as Suzy Cooper. Apologies for my lack of information. If you look her up on Wikipedia or perhaps the museum services at Stoke-on-Trent City Council. She is very famous here. X
In about 2006 and 2007 I painted several murals in the Arnold Bennett suite of the Leopard Hotel. It has appeared on Britain’s most Haunted on TV and until a couple of years ago was still open. Now no one seems to know what is happening with it. I’m sure it still needs a lot of work doing on it. No doubt my murals will get painted over if it is refurbished. It’s sad, because for a few years the place thrived. But there was also bad luck there. I wish things coukd be better for it. X
Based on the Florence colliery this is a mural I painted on panels several years ago. It’s emulsion on marine ply and it was covered in perspex to protect it from the dirt and fumes from the road. I think it’s been relocated from here but I’m not sure whether it’s now inside the building. I haven’t been there for a few years. One day I will go and have a look.
Its aa little thing, but my painting of the Burslem Riot is on the back of a friends book. She’s in the newspaper today and you can clearly see my image on the back of her book. The problem is the article is about the local dialect which she writes about, not about my painting. So I guess I can’t complain. But my images do crop up and I don’t get recognition. I should have put something up where they are on display (in the now closed Leopard Hotel in Burslem), but I didn’t think about it, and then I didn’t organise it, and now it’s all locked up. Thinking if putting a letter through the front door infroducing myself as the artist who painted them. I hope they don’t get ripped out!
Molly Leigh was said to be the Burslem witch. She lived in a small cottage, a photo of which I based this picture on. There are no photos of her so I tried to find a painting of an elderly woman from about that time and chose a picture of a French peasant by Theodore Gericault as an inspiration. The plants in the background are meant to be foxgloves and different herbs in a garden I imagined to be full of things you could use for remedies. I didn’t find much out about her life, except she is meant to be buried in a local church yard with the grave orientated East West, instead of the normal North South way. We went for a walk and ended up in the graveyard, only to get told off by someone from the church who kept getting people messing about round Mollys grave. When we explained we were on a photo walk of Burslem and we didn’t want to do any strange rituals he was OK. The painting is set on a night of the full moon and I tried to make the sky atmospheric and spooky. I’m sorry people won’t be able to see my murals in the Leopard anymore. No doubt they will be painted over or removed.
This the mural I painted at the Leopard of Clarice Cliffs Umbrella design. It is one of several murals I did. They were painted directly onto the walls, but as the original room had several large squares and oblong of flock wallpaper surrounded by wooden framing, the owners stripped the flock paper and covered the patches with lining paper. I then painted on that. For some reason people think the pictures are painted on canvas. They will get a shock if they try and take them down. They would have to remove a layer of plaster probably too…!
I am sad to hear the leopard Hotel in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent has closed its doors and is being auctioned off.
It appeared on shows like Britain’s most Haunted TV show. It was very spooky. I was pleased to paint murals there over ten years ago and we were part of a zombie film that was partly filmed in there… Sad day
This popped up on my Facebook memories today, it’s a mural I painted on lining paper on the wall in the Arnold Bennett suite at the Leopard Hotel, in Burslem, Stoke on Trent. It’s about 13 or 14 years since I painted it. It’s based on the Burslem Riot which happened at the same time as other riots were happening in the country about how people were being treated. I think it was organised by the chartists in 1843 (when they were trying to get the vote if I remember right). The riot act was read to disperse the crowd. A man called Josiah Heapy was shot dead by the troops and is remembered as a victim of oppression by the local elite. The main characters in the ainting were all based on people I knew.