International Women’s Day 2018

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I just found this sketch of International Women’s Day from about a year ago. I had a stall with art for sale at Burslem school of Art. I think this was the first time I ever drew the main gallery and I also tried to draw the banner that was on display there.

The school of art is very crooked. Burslem is old and suffers from subsidence or is undermined by coal mines. The whole of the city is built on clay and coal and the coal field under the city has caused a lot of damage over the years. Parts of the city also have geologic faults running underneath them so it’s not surprising that the buildings are affected.

There is also a volcanic plug  where I live, the very base of an ancient volcano that was worn away by erosion over thousands or millions of years. The hill that is left dominates the valley of the river Trent, but the ground rises in other places too. There are coal tips (slag heaps) where the spoil from the collieries was dumped as the coal was hewn from the ground.

The wonder of Pottery and artistic design was the result of the geology in Staffordshire.

Got my plate

I’ve just had a plate delivered. It was one I designed at a “have a go” session at the Wedgewood factory in Barlaston, Staffordshire. You had to draw the design on a piece of paper then it’s photographed and printed on a plate and sent out to you. I’m a little disappointed because its a bit paler and duller than I was expecting. Also the cat, Gracie, is not as central on the plate as I was had drawn and was expecting. That may be my fault. The second image is where I have upped the contrast, and actually looks closer to the original. And the photo of the back tells you when I drew it.

If you decide to do something like this beware using felt pens and pencils that are a bit worn down or dried out. This will effect the outcome. On the whole I enjoyed the experience and its nice to have something of your own to bring back. Its a souvenir of a good day out.

Tea kettle?

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We saw this amazing peice of ceramics today.  It was on top of a cupboard so hard to get a close look, but I think it was over two foot high. Ceramicists will probably know a lot about it? It seems to have red calligraphy on the front, and what is the branching handle supposed to look like? Perhaps like a chopped tree branch.

There are drips of coloured glaze over the body of the pot the handle and the spout, it appears to be some type of lustre ware.

Sitting next to it are some figures on a boat? This plate seems to be a based on Chinese landscape painting.

I love the accessories people choose to decorate places. I know the fashion is to declutter but I think having interesting objects can make the world a more varied place. I would love to give this space in my home.

Nothing

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Couldn’t resist posting this photo.

On this site sept. 5, 1782 Nothing happened.

The day before had been busy, barges were loaded with pottery to take away on the canal, horses pulling the barges to distant towns along the trent and mersey canal…. . Seven days earlier a load of clay and ground flint had arrived. The pottery has been thrown on wheels or cast in slip. Then into the kilns so that they could be fired biscuit hard. The paintresses had decorated each pot with beautiful designs. These were the pots that were spreading out over the land now.

But today nothing happened.

Mable smiled at  Jeremiah, he smiled back, but nothing happened. Mabels father was not approving of Jeremiah, he was only a lowly saggar makers bottom knocker, making the bases for saggars. These were the pottery cases that fine pottery and china was fired in to protect it from the smoke from the coal. Jeremiah had no prospects. He was younger than Mable. She was the owners daughter.

All she could do was smile. All she could do was hope things would change. But today …

Nothing happened.

Maybe one day it would ..

Spode pots

Spode heritage Centre is closed at the moment because they are choosing photos for the 3 counties open photography exhibition. I had a quick glance as I was meeting the man in charge of the space to make arrangements for a show I’m holding there in May/June this year.

I have some paintings ready, but I might use photos from the Spode shop as inspirations for new paintings. I’ve been doing a lot of Blue and white work and the ceramics there are very striking. I also like looking through cabinets or windows to the view beyond. Using them to frame the subject.

Anyway my suggestion for today for you is “stay curious!”.

Thank you Alchemist

Look what came in the post today!

It’s a postcard from The Alchemist, a blogger here who makes wonderful Raku pottery. He had asked his readers to come up with a name for a vase, and a little explanation or story to explain the thinking behind the name.

My idea was “copper tear” based on the colour and the shape of the vase. I didn’t win, but The Alchemist promised to send a post card to anyone who entered.

It’s good to be in contact with the lovely people here on WordPress!

Thank you, The Alchemist

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Wedgewood artisan market

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It was a fairly bright morning once you dodged the rain showers so we decided to visit wedgewood artisan market (2nd Sunday of each month). It’s at the Wedgewood factory, near Barlaston,, Staffordshire. We had a fine potters full breakfast in the dining room there (with beans and oatcake). Our friend from Yorkshire was visiting so it was good to show him one of the local attractions. Once we had eaten we went round the outdoor and indoor stalls. Charis Jones with her Sculpted Steel was there, together with Pat Myatt and her potteries art work. Other stalls included whisky fudge, crafted wool blankets, various cheeses and cakes, you could even buy your own fairy kit to make a fairy like the ones at Trentham Gardens. My partner bought me a kit and I bought him a wood turned pen. We also went inside the wedgewood visitor centre and I spent a happy hour trying to create a cat design plate. The pens and pencils they had were not very good but hopefully the image on the plate (a lithograph) will be OK.

I took a couple of progress photos but not one if the finished design. It might take 6 weeks for it to be delivered though…