Potteries

Burslem, Tunstall, Hanley, Stoke-upon-Trent, Fenton, Longton.

Six towns United as one city. Stoke-on-Trent.

I remember seeing this print and taking a photo of it, but I cannot remember where it’s from. So apologies for using the image and if I’m infringing copyright let me know and I will remove it. I like the style of the illustration. It’s almost grecian in style. The Potter is throwing a pot on a foot treadled wheel. The background looks a bit like a Minton tile. I did Google it and found some very similar images.

Pottery is such a wonderful craft. The things you can make out of clay. From tableware to ceramic insulators. Sanitaryware (bathrooms) to delicate ornaments. The Potteries has a great history. It’s fame is world wide. I’m proud to live here.

Willow pattern

A bad, fuzzy close up

Of a painting I did

A willow pattern plate

That Spode pottery made

Based on patterns

That came from the east

So many variations

That you find all around.

Blue and white pottery

Glazed and painted

By skilled, creative artists

Paid by piecework,

(the number they did) .

Stoke on Trent city

A fading of clay,

But once so many people

Gave their art to the day.

Nostalgia

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.

Three years ago…

Walking around the world museum in Liverpool three years ago, I was so impressed by the travelling exhibition of the Chinese terracotta warriors. Obviously only a few if them were represented in the gallery, but it gave a strong example of the creative and military civilization behind these figures.

There were crowds at the gallery, people shuffled round and many of the exhibits were partially hidden by bodies that strangely mimicked the warriors remaining in China as they stand within the archaeological dig there, rows and columns lined up. Humans used to congregate. They group, they press against each other, travel together . That feeling of community has been lost to some degree because of Covid. Will they ever do the same again? Will we go forward in time to a freedom we do not enjoy now? I don’t know.

ceramic head

Thirty year old ceramic head. Every year I plant this, and another one (hidden behind a hanging basket) with lobelia or other trailing plants. I was going to put in nasturtium seeds but forgot!

I’m pleased with how it’s lasted. When it was fired it had a crack in the back and over the last twenty five years its been out there I’ve expected the frost to break it but it survived. I made it at a pottery class in Newcastle-under-Lyme and was really pleased with the result.

Anyway I’m thinking of making some more if I can find a pottery class or group.x

Story tiles

A view of St Austell in Cornwall that was at the BCB exhibition recently at Swift House, Stoke-on-Trent. With subtle tones of sepia colour it depicted a semi industrial landscape. I didn’t see a notice but I’m guessing it was made of China clay which has been quarried there for centuries. One of the sites was used to create the Eden Project, a set of giant domed greenhouses or ‘biomes’ which house tropical and arid environments from more equatorial climes.

St Austell is a town in Cornwall inland from the southern coast, in a landscape dotted with abandoned tin mines. It was once the home of a famous poet called Jack Clemo. He was blind but managed to write his poems while supported by his mother in the 1950’s?

Dragon on pottery

I’m getting obsessed with dragons, thus is a quick sketch of one slithering down a bottle oven at a pottery. I’m imagining it’s been attracted by the heat as the oven is heated up to fire the pottery. I probably should have a plume of smoke coming out of the top of the oven. My dragon is golden like the luster on victorian pottery. I think my dragon is a friendly one.

Chandelier

A lunch meeting with a group of friends today. We have been meeting on line for 19 months but have not met many in person.

We were at the Potters club, a lovely set of rooms at the top of an office building in Stoke on Trent. There were amazing pieces of pottery on display, and the view out showed Penkhull hill and the Trent Valley.

I could have taken many photos if I had taken my phone with me, but I had left it on my table as I was having to walk with a stick. So the only photo I got was one of three chandeliers in the Potters Club room.