Mike at Mellards

New 'Rolling exhibition' of paintings & prints

February 2018

Work by Penkhull Artist Potters Association founder Mike Cain has just gone on show at Mellards on Market Lane in Newcastle under Lyme. The work includes paintings, prints and mixed media work, partly inspired by Stoke's industrial past. For full details please check out our 'NEWS' page.

First group exhibition at Spode Museum

September 23rd - October 17th 2017

 Part of the gallery space at the Spode Museum and Heritage Centre.

Part of the gallery space at the Spode Museum and Heritage Centre.

The Penkhull Artist Potters Association held its first exhibition at the Spode Museum and Heritage Centre in Stoke-on-Trent from Saturday September 23rd until Tuesday October 17th 2017. It was also the official launch of the group and its micro-pottery.

"Our first group show was both successful and useful, on all sorts of levels. From interesting conversations with visitors, fellow local artists and gallery owners, to reconnecting with old friends. Besides marking the official launch of our group we also got some very good reactions to our work. I'm confident we've laid some foundations in terms building relationships and developing our work."  Dave Harper

 Shallow square bowl with upright form - Mike Cain

Shallow square bowl with upright form - Mike Cain

The group's members showed around seventy pieces of ceramic art, plus a number of paintings, prints and mixed media pieces.

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"Three weeks have passed like a blink of an eye but its been a rewarding experience. I've especially enjoyed meeting and talking with some of the hundreds of visitors who came to see our work." Mike Cain.

 

 
 
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First to Show at Spode museum's new gallery

The Penkhull Artist Potters exhibition was actually a double first. Not only was it the group's first show, but they were the first artists to showcase their work in the new gallery space at the Spode Museum.

The trust has ambitious long term plans to create what it calls a 'creative hub' inside its centre on the 'Spode Works' site.

While committed to preserving its heritage - through its ceramics collection and its live demonstrations - the museum also wants to encourage new and existing creative talent through its new gallery which has been set-up in association with the One-One-Six gallery run by Darren Washington. 

"We'd like to thank Darren, the museum, its trustees, staff and volunteers for all their help and support in staging our first exhibition. We couldn't have wished for a better start." said Mike Cain.

The Manager of the Spode Museum Michael Escolme said: 

"We are extremely pleased to have welcomed the Penkhull Artist Potters to the museum, and we hope this is the beginning of a long term relationship between them and the museum."

 

 

 


New micro-pottery for stoke

While Stoke-on-Trent has remained at the heart of Britain's pottery industry, many long established companies have closed, merged or moved production overseas. However the city has played host to the very successful television series 'The Great Pottery Throw Down' which has renewed interest in hand made ceramics. Its against this backdrop that the Penkhull Artist Potters Association has launched its new micro-pottery in September 2017.

"Although we've worked as artists in our own right for decades, we only started making ceramic art together very recently. I think by sharing experience and technical knowledge we've all developed much quicker than working alone." said Tony Wild.

"Our work has been described as having a raw, gritty look. We use found objects, from discarded packaging and tree bark to pieces of rusty iron, to inform and create our work. Its modern art made from little pieces of Stoke."  said Dave Harper

"Its a shame that so many pot banks have been lost, but perhaps part of the future lies in specialist manufacturers and ventures like ours - small micro-potteries which produce ceramic art. We only have a small studio and our kiln can only fire half a dozen pieces at a time, but then every item we make is totally unique." said Dave Harper

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 L to R: Dave Harper, Tony Wild & Mike Cain - photo from the Sentinel newspaper.

L to R: Dave Harper, Tony Wild & Mike Cain - photo from the Sentinel newspaper.

Exhibition: media reaction

The launch of the Penkhull Artist Potters Association and its first exhibition received significant local media coverage including an article in the Penkhull Recorder, a feature story in the Stoke Sentinel newspaper, a live broadcast from the group's ceramics studio on BBC Radio Stoke's breakfast show, and a full page feature in Staffordshire Life magazine.

"Obviously we're very pleased to get such good local media coverage. It has given us the best of starts. I've been at our show almost every day and we've also had amazing feedback from visitors. As an artist, much of our time is spent working in relative isolation, so to speak to such a diverse range of visitors has been fascinating. We have learnt much from our first exhibition, and now its time to start working on new work and to look ahead to our next show."  Mike Cain - October 2017