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  • Writer's pictureMary Parker

So at the close of one year, and the beginning of another, finally a catch up!


Our eldest and I visited the Derby Print Open in June, it was great to see all of the other work - so many different printmaking techniques, and very inspiring. I was very happy to have sold two of the framed linocuts!


Here are photos of the finished Gladstone decorating kiln linocuts, I've been interested to see that the more experimental one seems to be the more popular of the two. I'm intending to do more playing with ink application in the future, so this has been encouraging. One of each has already sold at Gladstone Pottery Museum, where they are currently exclusively for sale.


I completed the partner-piece to the green and black version of the Minkstone linocut ("Restoration") - here is the A4 orange and black version of Chetam's Pottery, "In Limbo". I really enjoyed working on this one, and I'm very pleased with how it's come out.


For the first time this year, I entered the Three Counties Open - a juried exhibition that covers Staffordshire, Cheshire and Shropshire. It's the Open that I have always wanted to take part in as it's our local, but had never before felt brave enough. I was over the moon to be accepted with "Restoration", and here it is on the wall at Burslem School of Art, Stoke-on-Trent, surrounded by wonderful work by other local artists. I will be entering again next year, ever hopeful.


I don't feel as though I've spent much time printing this year - a lot of my time has been taken up with enabling my husband Ian to get two big commissions done, which have been stressful at times but fulfilling. Looking back, I've done more than I thought I had, but it was often in snatched free hours and weeks apart. This coming year we're both hoping to get into better work routines so that we can both get into a more healthy creative rhythm.


The year has ended with the closure / relocation of Two Silver Pennies in Uttoxeter. It's been good to have been involved, but I've decided to leave as along with many of my fellow artists and craftspeople, sales have been down by getting on for half this year, and I'm trying to reduce my outgoings a bit. I wish everyone who is moving across the street to the Globe Eco Centre all the very best of success for the 2024!

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  • Writer's pictureMary Parker

It's been a busy few weeks of stock management, with little actual making, but some exciting things have happened despite that. I had a bit of a battle with a courier over the return of work from the RCA Conwy Open, but it is finally home, and has now been entered into the Three Counties Open - I really hope that it is successful as this is a very local competition to us, but I shall have to wait a while and see. Meanwhile, I was beyond excited to discover that three of my five submitted linocuts for the Derby Print Open are going to be part of the exhibition, and along with a fourth will be available unframed in the shop. I was able to hand-deliver the work to Banks Mill Studio in Derby, again using our local train station which is on the Derby line. Hooray for public transport!

I have been able to do a bit of printing, the next layer has gone on to both versions of the small kiln at Gladstone.

As you can see they're quite different to each other - the first is very experimental as wanted to play a bit more with spot inking (using small, narrow rollers to ink specific areas) and texture, which I achieved here by using 80% extender in the ink. I know from unwanted experience that this results in patchy coverage, but here it was what I was after, so all experience is useful eventually! I then carved out the lino to print the second, where you can now begin to see more of the structure. The next couple of phases will be working on the first again, always bearing in mind the effect of any carving on the second one, which is now just waiting for the final layer of detailing. A lot of careful thinking and carving ahead.

Last year, in response to the Pressing Matters magazine green and black challenge, I created an A4 version of one of my A6 bottle kilns. Here the are side-by-side:

I have wanted to continue a series of larger versions, with the next intended to be a larger version of my recently completed Chetam's Pottery, which will be orange and black. Completely coincidentally, that is the theme of the next challenge, so I have my time set down for me. The design has been enlarged, and is traced on to a piece of A4 lino ready to be worked on, so watch this space!

Finally, I posted previously about the lovely Two Silver Pennies gallery and shop that has now opened in Uttoxeter. I popped over with our eldest to drop off some more cards yesterday and it was great to see the shop now full of beautiful handmade local products!

This is a very small selection, but some of mine and my husband Ian's pictures are here - Ian's paintings are the Tudor house (Little Moreton Hall in Cheshire), the speckled wood butterfly on blackberries, and the bouquet of lilies. If you want to visit the shop, it's at 1 Church Street in the town centre, postcode ST14 8AG, and it's open Tuesday to Saturday.

That's all for now! More soon, God bless.

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  • Writer's pictureMary Parker

Over the last few weeks I've been slowly working on some new linocuts, and also on getting things ready for a new stockist. The new ones involve continuing with the small bottle oven at Gladstone Pottery Museum, the second colourway is now started with two colours down on what I hope will be a more naturalistic edition, with a light red-brick tone on the surrounding area, and a base yellow brick for the oven, kiln furniture which is to the side, and cobbles. Now that this version is done, I can cut out the areas where I want to keep these colours on the lino ready for the next layer.

The drawing for the Twyfords bottle kilns with scaffolding has gone on the back burner for now, with the Trentham Gardens image overtaking it - I had hoped to get it done to send off with my batch to the new place (more below) but it was not to be... However, progress has still been made, and the drawing is transferred to lino with the lines now having been drawn over with Indian Ink. It's curing for a while now so that when I clean it down with meths it should retain a good clear line still. When I've cleaned it down after only a couple of days in the past it's nearly removed the lot! A good week is much better if you can spare the time.

Josiah & Co at World of Wedgwood where I have a lot of my original bottle oven linocuts for sale has just had a massive expansion of premises, I'm looking forward very much to visiting soon! However, this week I was able to deliver a consignment of work that has been only ever been for sale on my Folksy shop , and three of my husband Ian's paintings, to a brand new shop / gallery /workshop in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, which is being set up and run by Angie from Made in Staffs called Two Silver Pennies. It's planned to be opening on April the 20th and will be selling work by a number of Staffordshire artists and craftspeople!

Last of all, but equally as exciting, I finally had a couple of sales on my Folksy store after a drought since last summer. I was too pleasantly shocked to do a happy dance! These are the pieces that were posted off to their new homes:

I hope you've enjoyed this update, more soon!

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