In January the Network, was successful in bidding for £10,000 from the National Lottery, for a heritage project “Bound by Clay”, to commission a film, web site and book documenting women’s contribution to the pottery industry. Led by network member Val Bourne, and supported through the Heritage Lottery Fund, the project was launched at a sellout event, at Spode in Stoke on International Women’s Day, in March with special guest Kate Malone studio potter and judge on “The Great Pottery Throwdown”.
The project’s film Bound by Clay premiered on 12th June at the Film Theatre in Stoke, on Ray Johnson’s Screen Wednesday. It has been produced by local film company Inspired Film and Video. The film includes accounts by women who currently work or have worked in the industry, telling of their day-to-day experiences, the camaraderie and the skillful processes they developed. It uniquely documents aspects of Stoke-on-Trent's infamous industrial and cultural heritage from a female perspective.
The premiere was attended by over 200 people. It was a fantastically emotional night, with much laughter and tears and it was wonderful to have the women that have appeared in the film in the audience. We have had such positive feedback and we are now looking into a wider release. We are also working on the completion of planning the book of anecdotes and the supporting online educational resource. Thank yous go out to those the women that appeared in the film for openly sharing their reminiscences, Inspired Film and Video, Stoke Film Theatre and Ray Johnson.
On 8th March our IWD celebration Bound by Clay at Spode in Stoke was sellout. Out guest speaker was Kate Malone the celebrated artisan potter who has helped to put Stoke-on-Trent back on the map with the Great Pottery Throw Down. She shared the stage with Laura Cohen CEO of the British Ceramics Confederation, Kevin Brownsword Professor of Ceramics at Staffordshire University and Kevin Millward Course Director at Clay College. Additionally, we showcased local artisan potters.
We want to thank all our speakers, Charlotte Foster from Radio Stoke our host for the evening, our excellent guests, volunteer helpers, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Heritage Lottery Fund, Moorcroft, Edwards and Lockett, Spodeworks and Inspired Film