Things are changing at the old Spode factory site.
Old buildings that don’t have much historical merit are being demolished and older buildings , or more architecturally important ones are being released from their imprisonment in brick, mortar, chip board, steel and concrete.
Like an archaeological dig tipped 90 degrees, new surfaces and entrances are being uncovered. Courtyards with windows newly on view. Stacks of saggars piled on shelves up at those windows, small or large, flat or square ….the weight of the saggars must be tremendous. I wondered if the shelves are rotting and if they could collapse .
I remember seeing a film called “solarus” or “solaris” once years ago. By Tarcovski? A Russian film maker. The character’s moved through a post industrial nightmare, and I can’t help thinking Spode uncovered would make a brilliant film set.
A recent film called “jawbone” was filmed at Spode. They recreated a boxing gym in the China halls there. So many new views. ….
walking along the new pathway to the studios there, I wonder at the air we are breathing in, dust everywhere…how do we know there is no asbestos or other contaminants?
The feral cats of Spode can be friendly. A grey and white Tom cat was hanging about next to the Hulton art pottery. We were told that someone is thinking of rehoming him. He had water and food….my partner wanted to take him home. But we already have two of our own cats. I think he will be OK. I have nicknamed him Maurice. ….
I was going to try and play my trumpet at the pub tonight, but of course I haven’t had time to practice, and although I had a lesson recently….well it just doesn’t sound very good….
So do a song…again…I have been so busy…..I haven’t learned anything new. A lot of the time I will just sing something that I have done before…
When we got there the band was playing, but there is always a section of the night where the audience can sing or read poetry while the band take a break.
I decided to sing “Scarborough fair” but I started a bit too high. I have sung it before, maybe two years ago, so I wrote the words down and sang from some scribble on a peice of paper…..
“are you going to Scarborough fair, parsley sage rosemary and thyme, remember me to one who lives there, she once was a true love of mine” etc….
I took a couple of photos, but my camera phone doesn’t work well in the dark so I have had to put them through some filters.
A friend had brought some paper and pencils, so while the band and audience played music I drew some of the customers at the pub. I have posted the drawings here, some worked better than others. In a rapidly moving crowd you have to try and get an image down quickly. Especially if people are playing instruments!
Leaves unfurl and block the view, the sky is shaded out, green and orange, and yellow too, they cast their shade about.
Atop a hill, those huge trees grew, their roots spread wide no doubt, and round their branches… true delight I see the fields sprout.
Now came old autumn, when leaves flew, they were madly strewn about, the world is seen as if anew, and “slumber trees!” I shout.
I’m not good at rhyming. I prefer blank verse, but I thought I would have a go at making a more traditional poem.
“View” and “Out” are such simple words…you can probably think of far more rhymes for them than I can. The poem is based on a visit to the Dorothy Clive Garden today. The leaves are starting to fill in the gaps between the branches and twigs, and some views will disappear until the leaves fall again in October or November, when the world beyond them will be revealed again. I think you can see three counties, Staffordshire, Cheshire and Shropshire can be seen from the top of the quarry garden there.
It’s a beautiful place if you feel like visiting it.
It’s really interesting taking a photograph and then multiplying it. I tend to take pictures of trees, but here I have looked out of windows at Spode or multiplied every day objects like my glasses and a mug. I have even drawn over one of the photos using a simple kaleidoscope app.
I think what makes these interesting is the underlying structure, ridges on the roofs or the metal frames of the windows ….the white triangles and diamonds on the multiplied glasses photo adds a surprising pattern.
The trick is to rotate the pictures until you get the most pleasing composition. Sometimes it’s interesting not to be completely symmetrical, you can use shadows and spaces to create a different feel. Always look at negative space, for instance the sky, patterns can appear here too….
Be creative and you can bring out so much interest even from a mundane photo…..
Changing the filters, colours, going from colour to black and white can all add to the final image. If you are not satisfied you don’t have to accept the picture…maybe take a backwards step and try something else.
There are so many apps out there, and just using a mobile phone you can get pleasing images. Curiosity is a good habit to have. A sense of playing with the subject and not being afraid to experiment……
Using an app called layout (other apps will be available ) …I have multiplied the misty trees that I photographed a couple of days ago. Sometimes if you get it just right you can make something that looks like a reflection in a lake. Other options can help you create confusing images such as the twin driveways above. I particularly like turning the photos so you end up with a tangle of branches, a web of twigs, with patterns entwined in them. Like old fashioned wallpaper you can sometimes find alien animals creeping into the edges of your vision.
Changing the filters on the pictures adds to the air of disparity. Also by changing the level of the position of a duplicated photo, you can make something that appears more natural, for instance the picture of a lone tree where I have included more of the foreground in the upper photo while including more if the sky in the lower, inverted, image. My only concern with the picture is that there is a sharp line cutting across the middle but I did not want to try and smudge it using another app like picsart.
I think the use of colour in these images can make a difference to the overall effect. Colour can be jarring or it can enhance the picture. In these I have muted the colours, or even removed it and relied on variations in grey to give a mood to the pictures. This gives a spooky, ethereal look. If I wanted to make them more cheerful I would probably enhance the greens and try and bring some blues into the photos. By taking them later on in the evening on an overcast day I found that there were no shadows to contend with, the Sun was starting to set but was completely obscured by the cloud.
All in all I’m glad I took the photos of these magnificent trees… It was a productive use of my time while standing around in the cold for an hour waiting for my friends x
Standing in the cold, waiting for friends out at Heath House in Staffordshire, I decided to take photos of the view of the mist and cows on my phone….
When I was chilled to the bone I decided to take photos of the trees across the road, the board advertising the Heath House, and the drive up to it. These have also been posted to Instagram, so I used a couple of their filters to change some of the pictures to black and white, and also slightly pink or blue. I think this heightens the misty feel.
Some if the cows in the feild opposite were scratching their heads against the trunks of the trees . What an itch they must have had. As the mist came down I realised what an ideal location this was for our expedition. …..
We have been extra’s in a local film, and we had gone to The Heath House to be filmed in some exterior shots.