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.

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.

One of those days.

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Grey and depressing, icy cold, big droplets of rain. Disappointing as well, I keep trying to get the car mended (someone broke my wing mirror, the glass is cracked, and someone must have reversed into my nearside wing, it’s all scraped and dented. But I rang up, and the mechanic, who is trying to find the right mirror rang in sick this morning. I will have to try again tomorrow. Then I collected some paintings from my studio to try and get into a local craft centre. But the owner has been inundated with local artists. He is interested in more work but needs to sell some art first. He has had people in but one comment he got was “is it really That much?” for one if the pieces in there. It’s the usual thing in this area, people don’t have money, or if they do they don’t want to spend it. It’s depressing (oh I’ve already said that)……

Somewhere new

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A new arts and craft centre offering a place to sell your work and also art workshops has opened in Campbell Place in Stoke, Stoke-on-Trent.

I had the pleasure to meet Phil today, who is running the Centre. He took some of my paintings to display. There are some interesting art works in there includung work by Phil himself. I think it’s great that something like this has opened in Stoke. It makes Campbell place a bit more interesting. Good luck to him and congratulations for having the spirit and enthusiasm to open up. Open Wednesdays to Sundays, it’s initially opening for two years. It’s got a Facebook page under Serendiparty arts and crafts centre. There are events and workshops listed there.

Phil Hardakers’ Piano.

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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.

What Spode means to you?

 

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.

Tidying my studio

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!

Plants today

My back yard, fern at spode, carnations at spode.

Just a few plants I saw today. The ones in the yard are mostly in hanging baskets that are billowing out in great waves of colour. The fern is a shuttlecock fern I think because its fronds radiate out from the centre and it looks like the shuttlecock used in badminton. The third picture is of carnation flowers planted up with a blue grass. These last two were taken at the Spode Site at Stoke. There are plants that are planted up by our stairs that soften the edged of the semi derelict buildings there. I love plants.

Flower photos

I took these photos a couple of days ago outside the studios at Spode. Su Hurrell is an artist there and she works with urban garden planting. She works with other artists and uses objects like washing machines, old chairs, a chest of drawers and other objects.

Other places are being greened in the town centre. There is Spode Rise garden by the China Halls in Kingsway, Stoke, and then some wild planting along London Road and Hartshill and in Lonsdale Street.

I enjoy seeingĀ  these plants, it’s great to see people using planting in exciting new ways.