The Spode Rose Garden
is a wonderful example of people led change. Through a creative action project, which began in 2013 a derelict garden in the centre of Stoke Town was transformed in 2016, into what is now a well-loved and well used Community Garden and pocket park. In our exciting next phase we are transforming the garden once again, by working together to improve the flooring in the garden, and we are inviting everyone that loves and uses the garden to get involved in paving the future of the garden.
You may have noticed the work which Staffordshire Brickwork did to first take up the ugly concrete hardstanding in the garden, and then to replace this with a combination of Sandstone paving and traditional Staffordshire Blue Bricks. We will now work on the creation and installation of hand made bricks and tiles which draw on Spode’s Historical Pattern, and we invite you to get involved and make your mark on the garden for years to come, by taking part in a series of hands on Ceramic Making workshops. First to make some bespoke tools based on the details in Spode Wares, for use with clay (some of which we will dig from within the garden), and then to make bricks and decorative tiles for the garden’s new floor.
We will be replicating the early Spode Processes; where clay would be dug on site, wares made and then fired in kilns at the factory. We will build a kiln and fire our wares on site.
Get involved in any or all of the following workshops, led by our team of specialist artists and ceramic designers, and supported by the Friends of Spode Rose Garden. All workshops are free and provide professional opportunities to hone and learn new ceramics skills.
Enormous thanks to the Heritage England High Street Action Zone project for the funding to enable this development to take place.
This season of LIVING GARDEN workshops and events is delivered by a team of 4 artists and ceramicists, each with a specific set of skills and many crossovers.
is an artist and researcher whose work aims to create space to discuss and reframe city resources, through participatory art interventions. She creates situations for herself, the public and other artists to explore places differently. Through this, Anna aims to gain an understanding of the role of artists, arts organisations and communities in the development of places. Anna leads The Portland Inn project with artist Rebecca Davies, and is Associate Professor of Fine Art and Social Practice at Staffordshire University.
is currently Studio and Community Programme Manager with the British Ceramics Biennial. Jo joined the BCB staff team in 2015. Since then, she has focused on developing a Stoke-on-Trent based community of makers working with clay. Jo works with others in an open and collaborative way. Jo trained in Ceramics at the Royal College of Art and in Cardiff. She also has a PGCE in Art and Design. Her love of clay began through her experience of growing up in Stoke-on-Trent. Followed by her first experiences of work at the Wedgwood Visitor Centre and Gladstone Pottery Museum.
is a multidisciplinary artist exploring the themes of circulation and transformation of matter. Investigating the idea of 'place', she works on location-specific, cognitive projects aiming to bridge a scientific approach and artistic sensitivity. Her process and material-focused displays are designed to question the approach to natural resources in an outcome-oriented, anthropocentric reality. In her ceramic practice, she investigates the intersection between pottery, geology and memory, with a particular focus on wild, local clays, which she collects from all over the world. In 2019 she became a QEST Scholar and is currently a student at Clay College Stoke.
joined the BCB team in 2019 as locum Studio Programme Manager and now concentrates on her personal ceramic practice. She studied visual arts at the University of South Africa and has a PGCE in lifelong learning from the University of Westminster. She developed her clay skills through independent study, use of shared studios in London and Manchester and work-based learning at Clay Studio in Manchester where she worked as head studio technician and tutor. In 2018, Sarah co-founded the shared studio, Manchester Ceramics Collective.
THE WORKSHOPS and EVENTS
Sunday 22 January, 2023 12-2pm
Join our team in a microscopic look at the marks and patterns to be found on Spode Wares, in order to make some bespoke tools which we will use in the creation of a series of Tiles for the garden. Learn how to create your own hand made tools for use in ceramic production.
Sunday 29 January, 2023 12-2pm
Saturday 04 February, 2023 12-2pm
Come and join us at SPODE - the site within the Spode Rose Garden - to throw some bricks for our brand new floor. This is an opportunity to learn about the traditional art of brick making and to take part in a hands on session.
Saturday 11 February, 2023 12-2pm
Saturday 25 February, 2023 12-2pm
Spode Rose Garden
Join our makers in the Spode Rose Garden in getting into the detail, through the creation of a series of bespoke Ceramic Tiles for the garden. Using the hand made tools we created in our earlier session, you will have your opportunity to make your mark in the garden, and help to create a series of decorative artworks, drawing on Spode Patterns and Heritage which we will later install as a permanent feature within the garden.
Saturday 18, Sunday 19 March, 2023 10am-4pm
Spode Rose Garden
Have you ever wanted to know how to build your own kiln? Sign up for our kiln building and firing workshops, to first learn about the science of kiln building through an active kiln building exercise, and then to fire the kiln on site guided by our team of creative practitioners. This is exciting workshop will give you hands on experience of the equipment and materials needed to be able to build an experimental kiln, and then see how to fire wares.