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Poole’s heritage explored through pottery workshops and exhibition

Artist Ian Giles is inviting people who live and work in Poole to take part in a creative project celebrating the history of Poole Pottery.

Throughout May, Ian will be creating a large collection of hand-thrown ceramic pots and plates and he is looking for local people from businesses and manufacturers in Poole who are interested in learning about glazing to take part in the project.

Ian Giles with ceramics
 Weekly glazing workshops will be held at Poole Museum and the Dolphin Shopping Centre with the finished products being featured in an exhibition at Poole Museum later in the year.

When Poole Pottery was a thriving manufacturer, workers were given time and materials to explore their own creativity alongside their routine jobs – they called this ‘Free Time’. The designs they produced expressed a vibrancy that went on to define the pottery during the period. From its inception in 1873 Poole Pottery was often credited as being at the cutting edge of ceramic design, and as such the pots it produced typify the eras in which they were made.

Inspired by the iconic shapes and colours of Poole Pottery, with particular emphasis on the Delphis range from the 1960s and 70s, the workshops will be held at:

Poole Museum
From 7pm to 9pm on Thursday 7, 14, 21 and 28 May (4 sessions)

Dolphin Shopping Centre
From 10am to 11.30am on Thursday 7, 14 and 21 May (3 sessions)

During the sessions participants will be able to explore different glazing and drawing techniques inspired by Poole Pottery. Anyone interested in participating are asked to contact Ian Giles before 1 May at igiles.studio@gmail.com or call Poole Museum on 01202 262600.

Following these workshops, Ian will work with the ceramics to produce a large-scale installation. Original examples of Poole Pottery will sit next to contemporary work produced in the workshops in an exhibition due to open at Poole Museum in September 2015.

Dominic Kippin, Arts Development Officer, Borough of Poole, said: “This is a very exciting project which not only recognises one of Poole’s most famous industries but celebrates their craftsmanship in a creative and novel way.”

Ian Giles added: "I'm interested in how oral traditions, for example folk songs, are passed down and learnt between generations. In the same way these pottery glazing workshops pass on local skills and heritage through the process of actually making something."

Ian Giles lives and works in New York and London. He graduated from MFA Slade School of Fine Art in 2012 and has shown work at galleries including Tate Britain, the Whitechapel Gallery, London, the Arnolfini, Bristol and Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland.

This project and exhibition are supported by the Arts Council England and Borough of Poole Arts Service.