Tiles

One thing about living in Stoke is that you get to see beautiful pottery. For instance these tiles may be simple for or wall decorations, but they signify the creativity of the City.

You visit the Potteries Museum and art gallery, in the city centre (Hanley), you will see amazing beauty and talent in the history of the city of Stoke-on-Trent.

A whole history and creativity that has gradually dwindled as austerity has crippled the country. Manufacturing has reduced, has been driven offshore by costs, and although some had started to return, the current situation has made things worse again. Life continues…..

Corridor

Welcome to Spode studios. I have to admit I have not been in since the March lockdown. My reasons? Covid19, fear of catching it or passing it on if I do catch it.

The corridors are usually quiet, but you don’t know who’s there. I should call in, but now I’ve started an online course my available time has reduced. I need to make a timetable. To work out when I should go in. I have good intentions, but as they say about them, the road to hell is paved with them. I guess I’m really a bit down and still recovering from my tonsillitis. Yuk.

Penkhull Won!

After twenty four hours and over 13000 votes Penkhull’s flag finally won out over Tiree in Scotland by 51.5% to 48.5%. So very very close. I couldn’t resist going on twitter every few minutes to check what was happening, through most of the night! It’s silly but I’m very proud of our little village in the city.

The flag institute who ran the poll was amazed at the number of votes that were cast. The lead swapped backwards and forwards between us and Tiree. A wonderful feeling to have actually won!

Remembering the panto

Before Covid19

In February we were in the local pantomime. It was Aladdin. I also painted the scenery including this cutout of a cast member who had gone through a mangle and had to come out flattened. You would think it was easy. But have you tried painting feet from the back as well as the front? I took photos of the front and back of the person but the feet looked odd? I should have placed them like Charlie Chaplin perhaps? I hope life starts to return to normal and we get to do another panto soon! Oh yes I do! Oh no you don’t!

The ideas that influenced Penkhull flag

My idea was the to middle one. As you can see the Cockerel and the oval were strong influences on the final outcome.

This year the flag has already won the Vexillological Flag institute FA Cup of flags and on Tuesday we are in the final of the Flag institute World Series of flags @flaginstitute #WorldSeriesOfFlags (Hope I got the @and # right?) The competition /vote is over on Twitter from 11am. We are up against a lovely place called Tiree.

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Penkhull won the semi final

We won the semi final although someone said our flag looks like a bread wrapper! Now we are in the final next Tuesday against Tiree. I think it looks like a beautiful place, perhaps we will visit one day. However I can’t help hoping Penkhull win.

In my previous post describing the flag I forgot to say the blue colour represents the blue of Spode pottery. This iconic firm closed some time ago, but I have an art studio on the spode site so I feel doubly connected to Penkhulls flag. I will try and find the full description of what it symbolises.

Tea tonight, Thai salad

I went out to our local Thai restaurant, Sawadee Thai taste in Stoke and had a Green Papaya salad with seafood. It was extremely tasty. We also had thin rice noodles with some chilli’s and mixed vegetables. This is the third time I’ve had it because it tastes so nice. I would have taken a photo but I’d eaten the food before I thought about it.

Spode window.

Spode window

I’m in the reflection, you can see my fingers holding my phone in the bottom right hand pane of glass. Acrylic on canvas. Approx three foot by two foot. Painted a couple of years ago and exhibited at Spode and The Waiting room gallery at Longport. I’ve not painted much for the last six months because of covid 19 and doing my MA in illustration. But I know I need to paint again. I don’t want it to stop. I will be planning to paint more images from the Spode site. I love industrial archaeology. I hope to celebrate more of it in paint.

Painting scenery

I just chose a random photo from my gallery. It’s a scenery flat for the mystery plays a few years ago. When you are painting on a board eight foot by four foot you don’t need a lot of detail. But I love these iconic bottle ovens, so of course I decided to paint every brick. Plus it means I can give a bit of perspective rather than leaving it flat looking. I also hate when I see scenery and the perspective is wrong. I have seen some that are really weird. It’s distracting (for me anyway). I can spend more time on looking at scenery than at a performance.

A lot of scenery I’ve done for the Mystery plays was painted very quickly. When we have prepared and rehearsed for them the time we can have to use the hall we work in is limited so that we don’t have to spend too much money.

I don’t know what will happen next year? Will there be another one? I don’t know. For me by next summer it could be a real boost to have it on again.

Hubby digging

Fork in hand, pulling up weeds, tweed overcoat on, wearing a deerstalker hat, and enjoying a showery morning at Shelton allotments. No sketching challenge today, but we later met with some friends at a social distance so I got my sketch pad out again while enjoying a pleasant coffee in a Portuguese cafe. My nerves were a bit jangly after two seperate meetings with people so I wore a mask on both occasions and gloves when I was weeding. It’s hard to think the world might be going back to normal even though covid 19 is still here.