Canal walk.

Blue boat.

Hubby is walking to Barlaston in Staffordshire along the Trent and Mersey canal South from Staffordshire. Here is a photo of a blue canal boat that was passing as they walked along. Its at least seven miles so I hope they will be OK as they might be waking back as well if they don’t contact me to give them a lift. I would have walked with them but I did four up and down hill yesterday and my legs, particularly my knees are very stiff today.

Seeing photos like this makes me realise what a green and wet country we live in. We do get droughts but not as seriously as other countries. Waiting for their call….

Canal view

 

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Photo taken by my friend who went for a walk with my hubby yesterday. The Trent and Mersey canal. Near Middleport pottery heading south west along the canal. He saw a group of swans swimming along the canal. There are apparently Carp, Roach and Pike in that section of the canal.

He actually walked thirteen miles! A half marathon. He’s feeling it today. I’m impressed and amazed. I’m afraid a mile is enough for me. I think I need to do more exercise and seeing the photos I’m jealous of the walk he did.

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Short walk along the canal and Westport lake.

Long title…

We went for a walk along the Trent and Mersey canal, from the road up to Trubshaw Cross at Longport, Stoke-on-Trent, along the towpath, to the lakes at Westport. I was not at my best so we only walked round the small lake, then back along to our starting point.

The day was blustery, but I could feel some warmth from the sun. The old bottle oven round the back of Price and Kensington (facade allowed to crumble so much the council had to demolish part of it). It was sad to see all the rubbish and wood stacked up on the yard waiting to be burnt. The owners regularly light fires, not small ones, and cause a nuisance with smoke. I worry that the buildings may be irreversibly damaged by this behaviour. As you walk along the canal towpath the image improves, although there are places that are derelict and that made me wonder what would happen if the facade of a building were to fall into the canal.

We found the entry to Westport lake easily enough. We popped into the cafe to get some duck food, than a nice stroll round the lake. Stopping to chat with a photographer who had a really long lens to take pictures of the birds on the lake.

I need more exercise and this helped!

Tidying up

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We use a warehouse (old, small, with hardly any facilities) next to the Trent and Mersey canal for our art group. Most weeks we do art, pottery, painting, drawing etc. Thus week we had to clear out the kitcgen/store so that it can be demolished and rebuilt as a kitchen and a disabled toilet next to it. So we had to clear a lot of stuff out, including a lot of clay. This is only half of the stuff. It was quite heavy to move. I was going to take it away in my car but compromised on storing it in the building. It’s pleasing to be able to do something physical for a change.

Painting mugs

At Etruria Artists today we painted mugs, they were blank white mugs and we used on glaze paints that stay the same colour when they are heated. The most exciting thing is that they can be heated in an ordinary domestic oven. They have to be dried for twenty four hours, then heated at 150°C or gas mark 2 for 35 minutes to bake the colours in.

The outside photo is lock 40 on the Trent and Mersey canal. It was a beautiful morning, bright and sunny. I really do prefer coming to Etruria Artists ‘hands on Art’ at the Warehouse next to the lock in the morning rather than the evening. It is on from 10am to 12 noon if anyone wants to come along.

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Swans and ducks

What better on a crisp winters day than to take photos of a Swan and a couple of ducks. Interesting how the sky is reflected in the first one and not so much in the second. They were taken last year out at a place called the plume of feathers, at Barlaston, Staffordshire. The pub sits alongside the Trent and Mersey canal. Much more picturesque than where it runs through the city, the canal offers an opportunity to glide along in narrow boats on self catering holidays. The boats are beautiful to look at, but they can be quite expensive to rent for a week, so I prefer to walk for free by the water and allow the Swans and Ducks to do the gliding….

Mill wheel

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From a couple of years ago, acrylic on water colour paper. A mill in Leek, Staffordshire moorlands. Done for a leaflet about the Trent and Mersey canal. Another one of those Facebook memories that crop up that you’ve forgotten about until they pop up on your time line….

First drawing of 2020

_20200102_111654My first drawing of 2020 on 2.1.2020. It’s red because we were at Etruria Artists in the warehouse by the canal. It was so cold we had the electric heaters on in the roof that glow cherry red. For those who know the person, I’ve got his nose too long. This is because he was moving.

The Etruria Artists are now meeting on a Thursday morning from 10am to 12noon unless we change it. Hopefully this will encourage more people to come along.

A few years ago

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Two paintings I did for a leaflet a couple of years ago. The first was of Middleport pottery, a split image of two areas of the pottery, done to fit the images onto the page. The second, a view of the Trent and Mersey canal showing a lock that barges travel through where the water level changes. Opening the gates allows water to flow through and boats to go up and down the canal.

Acrylic paint on watercolour paper. Used by the canal and river trust on their leaflet.

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Waiting to be fired.

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Finished off my take on an Easter island head this week by hollowing it out and adding texture to the surface. It now needs to dry out so it can be fired. If the clay is wet the water in it will expand and may cause the pottery to blow up. It may not be an accurate representation of these wonderful statues, but I hope it is not disrespectful to model it?

We have started to meet on Thursday mornings at Etruria rather than in the evenings, this means we are there at the warehouse on the Trent and Mersey canal by summit lock 40. From 10am to 12 noon.

* note, we are meeting on an ad hoc basis at the moment dependant on the weather.