Staffordshire Inspiration

Emma Biggs Mosaic in Staffordshire Museum

I was down in Staffordshire last week visiting my elderly dad, and took the occasion to make a visit to the Stoke-on-Trent Museum.

This mosaic celebrates the industry of Stoke, sometimes known as "the Five Towns" as Stoke-on-Trent is made up of five separate towns now totally joined up, but also known as "The Potteries". Made by Emma Biggs, it is a big statement in the entrance hall of the museum. 
Each of the fifteen main circles is made up of the manufacturers stamps which are to be found on the underside of a pot; including Wedgewood; Royal Doulton and Johnston Bros. The rest of the mosaic is made up of other broken china, all of which had been donated to the project.
The other gem in the Museum, for me, was seeing the Staffordshire Hoard, the treasure trove of men's bling found a few years ago near Lichfield. The detail on these tiny decorative bits of gold was amazing, only to be seen through a magnifying glass to get all the magnificent craftsmanship. 
The trip down south was a bit of a blast from the past for me. First off, I recall the museum being built when I was in my teens, though I confess this was the first time I have been in.  Hanley (one of the 5 towns) was the centre of the shopping world for me in the early 80's, and has changed vastly. I am now much more interested in trawling the tile factory shops for potential material. In fact driving solo becomes a bit hazardous as I am easily distracted by all the factory shop signs, but I don't know if buying perfectly useable seconds from a plate manufacturer fits with my 'recycling' vibe?!?
My other 'going back in time' moment was the digging out of the patchwork quilt from the cupboard to keep me occupied whilst at my dad's. I started it when I was about 16, and I think the last time I touched it was about 12 years ago - when my kids were young. It is in tones of pink to burgundy, colours that were in fashion when I started, then out of fashion and I hated it, and now I like it again! And I am really enjoying doing hand stitching again. How much progress will I make this time?
I better make sure that quilting doesn't distract me from mosaic-land too much, though it is too cold and dreich outside for working in my Bothy.



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