This is from last year or the year before when I was taking photos at Spode and manipulating them in the layout app that I use to mirror and duplicate photos.
I haven’t been down to my studio at Spode for months with the lockdown, it just didn’t feel safe. The studios are not easy to socially isolate at, with mixed toilets and narrow corridors. I need to go back and build my confidence again. I’m still paying the rent though. I won’t give up on the idea. Just wait! I hope I will soon be creating there again
I love this old domed building in Stoke. I had thought it was a cinema, but apparently it was a co-operative shop before it closed down. I still think it was probably a cinema before that? It’s so grand. The white of the building and the browns and terracottas of the building on front of it make a good contrast. The hot was taken from the Spode Site car park in Eleanora Street, Stoke. The view is looking towards Hartshill and the D Road. It was taken on my phone one day last week.
The British Ceramic Biennial has some hands on workshops that are free and open to the public. Last week I made a flat back pot using a mold of a boat with Donald Trumps head in profile and a pair of boots walking in the other direction. There is also a lion with a union jack, a monkey, and other figures and plants. There are other pots shown above. Each of them has been designed by an artist, so they are possibly controversial, maybe a bit tongue in cheek.
Today I painted glaze on my pot that had been fired. I didn’t remember to take a photo of it, but I have taken photos of some of the larger pieces now they have finally been fired.
I’m glad I had a go, it’s definitely worth a visit.
I hope I’ve got his name correct. He’s a really unique artist who uses found pottery and hand made pieces together in large mosaics on various objects. In this case a grand piano. I wonder how much more it weighs with all the tiles and broken pots. It’s on display at the hotel on Spode site.
Hopefully I will be going round the BCB (British Ceramic Biannual event). There is lots going on there. Will see what’s on display.
I almost missed this today. We were invited up to the bridal suite in the Potbank Hotel to draw the views from the top room. The windows look out over the Spode factory roofs and beyond….
By the time I got there I was very late. I only had 45 minutes to draw. So I drew the view with the iconic Spode chimney first, looking out over Stoke Minster and part of the town hall. Then in the last 15 minutes I drew the cupola? of a building, its prominent as you look over Stoke. Turns out its an old co-op building. I only found out because as I was leaving I bumped into another urban sketcher who had not been able to get there in time. She had done research into what it was.
I might not have done as much as I wanted but it was fun. I would like to go back and do more.
I don’t know why but the usual grey clouds you get at sunset (sometimes tinged with pink) came out strikingly purple last night. I have read that there is dust and ash in the stratosphere from a couple of volcanoes which is giving the sky a violet tinge at the moment. Maybe it’s that or maybe its my camera phone. Anyway I will post a couple of these to the cloud appreciation society Facebook page. Maybe they can explain.
I’m here at the Open studios and I keep getting tongue tied. I need to explain about my art, but for some reason I become shy, it’s like trying to display my mind to the world. Cut off the top of my head and scoop out all the swirling thoughts time…. But… My good friend came along today, she greeted people cheerfully, asked them into my studio, said how I was a good artist, (by this time my head was in my hands with embarrassment) and encouraged them to think about commissioning me to do some art for them.
I was really pleased and mortified at the same time. I think it’s that British thing if too much modesty. It’s a learned habit that makes you feel like the “I’m not worthy” characters you see on TV or in books. Do you know what I mean? I felt it was far easier to just say “hi” as people walked past.
One of the things we did at the Spode open days was encourage people to get involved and either draw pictures of spode, draw a design, or write what Spode meant to them on a card. We got a few responses. I think now they are there they may be more on Sunday. The idea was that people could respond to the art exhibition we are holding in the foyer from artists who either work in the building or who have been involved in other projects there or who previously worked in the factory.
It had to happen, I’ve moved things round so people can get into the studio for the two open days tomorrow and on Sunday. I got rid of a bit of junk and moved some paintings around. I’ve also moved my big table to the back of the studio instead of its old position where it was not really being used. What I do need a small table to put my paints and palette on. Maybe an old stool or something. I have another chair which I could use but it has a back which might get in the way.
So I’ve got two days to try and meet and greet people. If you come along you will also see a fantastic exhibition of people’s idea of what Spode meant to them, and of course the British Ceramic biannual in the Spode China halls will have started so there will be so much to see. Enjoy!