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.

Spode Site

On a bright sunny day Spode can be fascinating. The huge chimney with its Spode sign and the skeletal remains of the factory show a stark yet beautiful side of the manufacturing world.

Spode Site is in the town of Stoke-upon-Trent and is situated in an area bounded by Glebe Street, Church Street and Eleanora Street.

The site is mostly off limits to the public, but studio holders and visitors are able to access parts of it to use and to produce arts and crafts and enjoy workshops.

The hotel at the site seems to be doing well and they have expanded the area outside for seating.

Then in September the BCB (British ceramic biannual) arrives in town. There should be plenty to see and do.

Spode site

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I’ve started work on this painting after a gap of a few months. I think it just over faced me, it was too big, to difficult (I’m working on it by looking at my phone).

And this last few days I haven’t felt well enough, but I started work on it this morning and did a good few hours on it.

So, where am I painting? In the house, not my studio. That’s the other thing, physically I feel awful. Mentally, I’m OK but don’t feel like I want to go out. We went for lunch with a friend today, but came straight home afterwards because I was exhausted, literally shaking. I don’t think I’m getting worse, but it’s taking time to recover and I know I’m pushing myself. But I have an exhibition next week and I haven’t got everything done. It’s very last minute……

This morning I realised it will be forty years in September since I started my degree in fine art painting…and I have never stopped….

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