The Last Day

It was our final day of workshops and we busily prepared ourselves, producing best batch of moulds over the entire three weeks…all good things come to those who wait!

It’s funny how attached you can become to a place once you have integrated yourself there over a period of time…

We had more wonderful local residents come and visit with us today, as well as the ceramics technician at Middlesex University along with his family – it was great for him to see us in action and see that the slip was working better than anticipated!

And, as ever there were some beautiful pieces made, ready for firing and to be included in our exhibition in July.

We were also visited by a collective of artists living locally and who are anticipating putting on their own work at the house later on in the year popped in to look around as well as discovering what we are all about

The weather did reflect all of our moods.  We were all feeling a little overcast and sombre and the light wasn’t as bright as it had been, almost as though it was marking the end of this phase of our project at the house

However…You can’t remain melancholy for too long and there is much planning to do for the upcoming exhibition in July – keep the 22nd – 24th July free in your diaries and come along and join us in celebrating all of the beautiful work that has been created over the past three weeks and will be added to with our own interpretations of stories shared and experiences gained.  It will be well worth the visit!

 

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Happy Accidents

You never can tell what’s going to happen to a cast when you take it out from it’s mould, but the odds are pretty good that it’ll usually come out pretty well formed – imperfection is in fact perfection – unless there is the misfortune of it getting stuck or if the slip leaks.

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We have discovered though that it is not just the cast that comes out pretty well, but when those little incidents happen, the mould also becomes an object of perfection

Even shavings from the casts themselves prove interesting

 

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The Penultimate Day…

It was our second to last day of workshops and we were all feeling a little melancholy.  Although the day was fairly quiet, it gave us the chance to reflect over the past three weeks and all that we have learnt and been able to share with all the local residents who have come along and participated so far

Nothing has gone to waste in any way, even the ‘crocks’ are being decorated along with some of our participants finding use for scraps of plastic clay!

 

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The Seventh Day

It’s our final week of workshops

The rain came….

And so did the participants!  We had one of our busiest workshop sessions since we started…

Some familiar faces and lots of new ones

There were some really lovely stories and memories shared…

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Along with some really interesting work

Come and join us on Thursday, 16th or on Saturday, 18th.  Sessions are 10-1pm or 2-5pm

 

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The Sixth Day

It was a great start to the day’s sessions, we had participants who have been in the area for different lengths of time; from 10 years to a year give or take and those who have lived in the area all their lives

Through the sharing of stories, there was a real sense of community and also those new to the area who were starting to build on that connection with others who had also recently moved there alongside existing long-term residents

There was talk of dragons and big cats and that sense of apprehension when faced with something new…the decoration and personal design of a pot and tile…new ways of drawing were shown and discovered…

We also had some surprise decorations of our own during the revealing process, beautiful in their own right

Thankfully the rain held off and we were able to get some prep work done outside for the start of the final week next Tuesday

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How it Used to be Done

We have been in contact with one of the descendants of the South Family who owned and ran one of the prominent potteries in Tottenham until it closed in 1960.  Ken Barker has been extremely generous and shared his memories and research with us along with some fantastic images of the White Hart Lane Pottery during it’s heyday for us to use during our workshops and exhibition

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The South Family Potteries, also known as White Hart Lane Potteries, were originally founded in Edmonton by Ken’s great great grandfather, Joseph South in 1868.  In 1888, Joseph’s son Samuel South relocated the pottery to much larger premises in White Hart Lane where it then passed to his son, Ken’s grandfather, Samuel in 1919.

The clay pits at the back of the site were located in the area now known as Devonshire Hill

This newsreel from the Pathe News Archives shows the process and speed at which the pots were turned by those who had perfected the art of ‘throwing’ – a mere 1,200-1,400 pots per day per potter – suffice to say we are using a different method of production called ‘slip casting’ as we do not have the facilities for throwing, nor the speed necessary!

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/flower-pots/query/flower+pots

In 1957, Walter South, who was the brother of Ken’s grandfather and also worked at the pottery, recalled that when Spurs moved to the High Road ground in 1899, the South pottery supplied broken “crocks” (pots) to be laid as a drainage foundation under the pitch. Ken’s grandfather, Samuel was a lifelong supporter of Spurs and purchased his first share in 1903. Samuel was also a life long friend of Bobby Buckle, a founder member of Spurs and the first amateur captain.

The link between the Souths and Tottenham Hotspur FC is of great interest to us, particularly as we are taking clay from the new stadium to produce new pots whereas they were placing their broken pots into the ground of the old one!

You will be able to find an abundance of information on Ken’s extremely informative website, http://www.samuelsouth.co.uk along with details of his book called ‘South from Barley’ charting the Souths journey to the area and beyond.  There are also plenty more fantastic images similar to these that Ken very kindly sent through to us.

 

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Workshop Number Five

It was a rather chilly start but the sun soon came out and had us outside, clay and moulds drying

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There were lots of passersby stopping to chat and find out what we are about and to book on to one of our sessions.

Our afternoon workshop was very welcome in the cool of the coach-house, with some wonderful designs both tiles as well as our pots being produced

A different approach to using map stencils

 

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