Elephant in the room.

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I painted this a few years ago. It was an elephant my friend made for penkhull mystery plays. It was used in a procession onto the village green and was carried by shoulder straps. I think it had cloth legs hanging over the edge to make it look like someone was sitting on the elephant.

It was so amazing I decided to record it as a painting. The frame was made of willow withies then canvas was stretched over the frame and painted white. Finally a fringe was attached to it and other fabric decorations.

The painting went to my friends house but sadly the elephant is no more. I think it was burnt in a fire at the garage it was stored in a few years after the play.

My studio

If you want to see somewhere full of paintings you could look round my studio. There are paintings of people, abstracts, animals, landscapes, buildings, cars, plants, or anything else you can think of.

I tend to use acrylic on canvas but also paint in watercolours and gouache. I have worked with pastel and with pencils and ink pens. I like anything that makes marks. Once at college I even drew with boot polish.

I paint on canvas and paper but I have painted on wooden doors when I was a student..

So yes I’m an artist, I can’t stop!

Sculpture at Trentham Gardens

We visited Trentham Gardens yesterday and it was great to see so many statues at the park. Many were fairy sculptures, several were new (at least to me). The only one that I think had always been there was the sculpture of Medusa being killed by Persius. I can remember seeing it before the Gardens were sold off. Now there are so many more sculptures there. Many of them are of fairies holding dandelion seed heads. There are also wildlife statues including owls, mice, slugs, frogs and other animals. I had a lovely afternoon taking photos of them.

The day was rather overcast and the flowers were past their best but there were also a lot of shapely seed heads to enhance the view. We don’t go to the gardens very often, perhaps once or twice a year. But it is worth visiting.

Open day’s

It’s Spode Open day on 6th and 7th October 2018. It’s at the studios at theĀ  old Spode factory site on Elanora Street, Stoke-on-Trent.

As well as the studios being open you will also be able to see an exhibition of the artists work in the gallery space. These are the pictures I will be showing.

Spode studios are run by a charity called Acava and part of the remit of the charity is to allow the public to come in and see what we are doing. Allowing the community to see the creativity in its midst.

The open day is on from 11am to 4pm on both days. You could also visit the Spode visitor Centre, the works canteen cafe on the same days.

Stoke on Trent is such a creative place. There are Pottery classes and ceramics courses for people to join. Artistic hubs and creative groups. Music, art and history all in one small city in Staffordshire. I am proud to live here.

Penkhull flag result

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A while ago Penkhull residents association decided to have a competition to create a flag for the village. The pictures surrounding the final flag were the 10 designs that had the most overall influence over the final design. I was really pleased to find out that one of them was my design. (the middle top design).

It feels good to have a flag to describe the village. The oval and lines coming in symbolise the village green and the roads coming into and surrounding it. The cockrel is based on the weather vane on top of the church. The colours are vibrant and cheerful. Local people had a choice of 4 designs taken from dozens of entries. The central flag in the photo was the winning design.

Glass workshop

One of the advantages of having a studio at spode is the fact you meet so many creative people.

One of them is a lady called Angela who makes glass art and runs workshops.

We had a very pleasant few hours today making some new pieces of glass. We used new techniques to make larger bowls (they will be when they are fired) and handkerchief vases which will be placed over a glass shaped form which the glass slumps over.

I hope we can go back for more.

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Tiles

Tiles at Gladstone yesterday.

I think they are by Minton which was a Pottery that went out of business a few years ago when a lot of Pottery manufacture went abroad because it was cheaper.

I know lots of people admire these tiles and they are often found in hallways in old victorian houses in this area. Our local church, St Thomas’s has tiles by Minton. The factory was based in Stoke-upon-trent, which is one of the six towns of Stoke-on-Trent.

Many of the people in the town were laid off from factories in Stoke, including Spode. Only a few places still make Pottery now, including Emma Bridgewater, Portmerion, Moorland Pottery, Moorcroft and I think Wedgwood…. There is also a tile manufacturer called Johnson’s tiles. But nothing really compares to the beauty of Minton.