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…

Looking at backstamps

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What are back stamps??

They are the trademark or manufacturers markĀ  that you find on the bottom of cups, plates and dishes that shows who made them.

This can be useful in identifying the manufacturer, whether they are antique and if they are worth anything. Sometimes they even get forged! People have added things like the Clarice Cliff signature onto modern pots to try and fool people into buying them as originals.

Some pots have simple marks on their base to identify them. Others have complicated patterns and writing.

The people who live in the potteries (Stoke-on-Trent). Have a habit of looking underneath pots to see if they have recognised which pottery made them. I think it’s called the “turn over club” but I may be wrong…..

Windows…

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No not the trade marked version. But old windows at Spode. Dusty and dirty and empty of footsteps, no faces staring out of them, no lights behind them, no shapes of pottery stacked. Life is quiet for the factory, silent. The place is shunned, surplus to requirements. How can it still exist?

Time passes, new movement as people take up spaces. Shift of light, shift of direction. Art and theater, people sleep on site now in the hotel. The chance to regenerate like a time lord. The site has age and power behind it. The ghosts look on, seeing the lights, wondering what will happen next. Will they be evicted from the deep soft clay dust that coats their footprints and hides their breath.

A friends exhibition

Here are a couple of photos of my friend, Alice Thatcher’s, exhibition on at 118, Church Street, Stoke, Stoke-on-Trent. It’s on from today, and is made up of peices of porcelain made by placing thin layers of the porcelain clay on paper and then firing it.

The exhibition is called “Porcelain and Paper”. I’m not sure when it’s on till but it will be visible through the windows of the building until the show ends. The pieces are delicate and fragile. They are displayed in various ways along with drawings of them.