Added to Creative Stoke, 24th December 2010

New! 24.12.10   
Added to the Directory: Tink Glass (Elizabeth Norton). Currently available at The Exchange artists’ shop in Hanley.

New! 24.12.10   
Added to the Directory: Stacey Gilbert Designs, jewellery design and objects in encapsulated resin. Currently available at The Exchange artists’ shop in Hanley.

New! 24.12.10   
Added to the Directory: Cityscape Ceramics (Alison Morgan), vibrant hand-decorated ware inspired by the bottle kilns of Stoke-on-Trent. Currently available at The Exchange artists’ shop in Hanley.

New! 24.12.10   
Creative Stoke has photos of the upper-floor hot-desk / studio spaces at The Exchange artists’ shop in Hanley. The shop and its upstairs spaces will be open until April 2011. Note that the ‘large double-window space’ studio is already booked for some of this period…

The shop area:

1) Upstairs front studio, double-window:

2) Upstairs front mini-studio, single-window:

3) Upstairs back, more suitable for screen-based workers:

A work desk costs a daily rate of £7.50, with wi-fi, tea and coffee, desk and lamp all included. Discounts can be arranged for monthly users, and for those people willing to volunteer to work in the shop for a number of hours each month. If you are interested in booking desk-time or finding out more please email:  mail@thisisexchange.co.uk

New! 24.12.10   
Birmingham Chamber of Commerce has produced a new edition (Oct/Nov 2010) of its excellent free A Guide To Sources Of Small Business Finance In The West Midlands. This detailed and concise guide has everything you need to know about current regional and specialist sources of funding for your small business.

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Added to Creative Stoke, 23rd December 2010

New! 23.12.10   
Your editor’s seasonal greetings e-card, to readers of Creative Stoke…


Click for full-size version.

New! 23.12.10   
News of the Staffordshire Open 2011, a competition for artists born, living, working or studying in Staffordshire. Up to three works may be entered in any media, including painting, sculpture, photography, film, and animation. £5 per entry, concessions £4. Handing in days are April 1st and 2nd April 2011, at the Shire Hall Gallery in Stafford. Exhibition dates are 30th April to 19th June 2011. Application forms can be downloaded from www.staffordshire.gov.uk/shirehallgallery

New! 23.12.10   
Advance news of the Derbyshire Open 2011, at the Buxton Museum & Art Gallery. This is an open art exhibition for amateur and professional artists of all ages. There’s no mention of a Derbyshire residency requirement, but works entered must be… “on a Derbyshire theme”. Up to two works may be submitted, and entry is free. The top prize is worth £750, and winning work is usually acquired for one of the museum’s collections. Handing-in day: 10th and 11th June 2011. Exhibition dates: 25th June to 2nd September 2011. Entry forms will be available to download from website closer to event, at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/leisure/buxton_museum

New! 23.12.10   
With privately funded space-flight quite literally ‘taking off’, it’s great to hear that Staffordshire University journalism students are offering a space industry -themed news app for the Apple iPad. Their “Spaced” app features rolling news from NASA, the European Space Agency, the UK Space Agency and other spaced-related outlets, along with video and data updates. “Spaced” is available now on the iTunes App Store, at a cost of 99 cents.

New! 23.12.10   
Are you a third-year student planning to complete your degree disseration over the holidays? Need more sources? Your editor’s JURN search-engine is now indexing over 3,800 free academic ejournals in the arts and humanities. Over 2,500 are in English, and most won’t be found in your university’s journal service or via Google Scholar.

New! 23.12.10   
Job:  Shropshire Council requires an artist or arts organisation who can transform Shrewsbury’s Quarry Park with site decorations, as part of the Shropshire Olympian Festival. There is an inclusive budget of £18,000 to cover all aspects of this commission. Deadline: 20th January 2011. See the website for more details.

New! 23.12.10   
Job:  Shropshire Council requires a freelance Music Director and Composer for the Shropshire Olympian Festival. This offers about 12 days of paid work, from February – June 2011, with the festival taking place on 17th-19th June 2011. and celebrates the historic 1864 Shropshire Olympian Festival. The Music Director will also co-compose the music for the Festival Anthem. Fee is up to £2,500, with some travel expenses. Deadline: noon on 20th January 2011. Full details from:  sarah.rollason@shropshire.gov.uk


Added to Creative Stoke, 21st December 2010

New! 21.12.10   
All the links in Creative Stoke’s Directory have been fully checked by hand. The Directory is normally only link-checked by a linkbot. Dead and domain-jacked links have been deleted, and various broken links have been repaired. All links in the Directory should now be working.

Also repaired was the NME‘s gigs-listings newsfeed, which forms part of the Big Feed local listings page.

New! 21.12.10   
The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery is running a “Mountains and Landscape Photography Competition” for people aged 13 – 19 years old. The competition will support a temporary exhibition opening at the museum in February 2011, which will enable visitors to understand why mountains exist, what they are made of and how they have inspired interpretations of the landscape. There will be three prizes, with first prize being a digital camera. Enter the competition through the Mountains and Landscape Photo Competition group on Facebook.

New! 21.12.10   
Creative Stoke has learned of the new novel Ramsdell Hall (Kindle edition). This genealogical ghost story is based in and around Kidsgrove and Scholar Green. The author is an ancestor of the Lowndes, who built Ramsdell in the 1750s.

New! 21.12.10   
Richard Talbot’s monumental new book The Royal Manor of Penkhull is now available via Amazon. To purchase, click on the link to other sellers, and then select “Richard Talbot” as the seller.


Added to Creative Stoke, 19th December 2010

New! 19.12.10   
The Exchange artists’ shop is now open, located on Cheapside (just off Piccadilly) in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. Stocked with the work of local artists, the shop offers an excellent opportunity for last-minute Christmas and New Year gifts!

The Exchange is also offering ‘hot desks’ for creative freelancers. Get a work desk at a daily rate of £7.50, with wi-fi, tea and coffee, desk and lamp all included. Discounts can be arranged for monthly users, and for those people willing to volunteer to work in the shop for a number of hours each month. If you are interested in booking desk time or finding out more please email:  mail@thisisexchange.co.uk

New! 19.12.10   
Job:  Fairfield Infant and Nursery School — located in nearby Buxton — requires Inspirational Practitioners to… “explore opportunities for the school’s most vulnerable children and families to make a positive contribution to school life, helping them to enjoy their time in school.” Fee: a minimum of £9,000 (split between practitioners if more than one). Application deadline: 4th January 2011. Full details are online here (Word .doc)

New! 19.12.10   
Job:  Meadows Primary School and Nursery, Riddings Close — located in nearby Telford — require a Creative Practitioner to help answer the question: “How do we fire the imagination to enhance and improve writing across the school?” Fee: £4,000. Application deadline: not stated. Please email Sian Macfarlane for a full brief at  sianmacfarlane@hotmail.com

New! 19.12.10   
The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, located down at the other end of the West Midlands, has launched its RCS Open Stages project to embrace, develop and celebrate amateur theatre in the region. The RSC will run a programme of skills-sharing events and showcases, with amateur societies invited to produce their own RSC-branded Shakespeare-themed production. To register an interest, please visit www.rsc.org.uk/openstages.

New! 19.12.10   
Dates have been announced for Dance 011, the region’s annual youth dance festival. These are 20th January – 29th January 2011, at the Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent. Last year saw 250 new works performed by over 90 dance schools, with 2,000 dancers taking part.

New! 19.12.10   
The Heart of England’s Grassroots Fund has grants available of up to £2,000. The fund is open until March 2011.

New! 19.12.10   
Innovation Networks grants of £10,000 are available to support product development and re-tooling in West Midlands small and medium-sized businesses. You must develop an innovative new product, process or service and provide benefits to the economy of the West Midlands. Interested? Contact Suzi Archer, Project Officer, at:   sarcher@cad.coventry.ac.uk

New! 19.12.10   
Over in the East Midlands, the Harold Martin Botanic Garden at the University of Leicester is calling for contemporary garden sculptures for summer 2011. The show hopes to… “present some of the most exceptional current contemporary practice”. If you wish to be considered please supply images of your works, a recent C.V. detailing your experience, an artist’s statement, and an indication of the sizes of your work. All works must be suitable for outdoors display. Deadline: 21st January 2011. For further information please contact Stella Couloutbanis at:  sc352@le.ac.uk


Added to Creative Stoke, 14th December 2010

New! 14.12.10   
There’s a 2011 opportunity to draw on a walk around Ilam Park (in the nearby Peak District) with help from local artist Margaret Sharples. “Looking with an Artist’s Eye” will happen on 21st May 2011. Drawing materials will be provided for the day (10am-4pm), if needed. Cost: £25. Interested? Contact Jenny Gerrans on 01433 637907 or highpeaksestate@nationaltrust.org.uk

New! 14.12.10   
A new mentoring scheme is offering to help a West Midlands writer to tackle critical arts writing for publication. The selected writer will receive three x half-day mentoring sessions, and another two x half-day mentoring sessions to focus on writing practice. The writer will be expected to produce three pieces of critical writing, which will be published. You will be required to write: i) a 500-word review of Birmingham’s Flatpack or Fierce Festival; ii) a 1000-word interview/feature on a West Midlands practitioner or artist-led organisation; iii) a 1000-word review of all, or a part of Birmingham’s The Event 2011. Application deadline: 14th January 2011. Full details from:  jamessmith.lon@googlemail.com

New! 14.12.10   
Job:   PiCL are looking for two dynamic practitioners from any form of creative practice, who are interested in the Staffordshire Hoard. They are working with four teachers and groups of students who have been doing work about the Staffordshire Hoard, and we would now like to recruit two practitioners who will help us to dig deeper and find out more, using their creative practice. Why is the hoard important to us? Why should we care about it? What can we learn about ourselves and our world by discovering more about it? How can students respond to brilliant stimuli like the hoard? Application deadline: 16th December 2010. For a full brief, please contact Rachel Billington at:  rachel@picl.uk.com

New! 14.12.10   
Those seeking ‘crowdfunding’ solutions for medium-sized arts projects may like to know about the new UK-oriented We Fund. It joins the established services such as Kickstarter and Ulule, which also reach the huge U.S. audience.

New! 14.12.10   
Congratulations to the Leek-based Borderland Voices, whose “A Breath of Fresh Air” project has been funded by mental health charity Mind (using Lottery funds). “A Breath of Fresh Air” will undertake projects in which people, with or without mental health issues, will work together with professional artists and crafts makers in environmental and arts sessions. The resulting work is planned for display at major public events in Leek and the Staffordshire Moorlands. “A Breath of Fresh Air” will be starting in April 2011, and monthly newsletters and the Borderland Voices website will be reporting the the latest news soon.

New! 14.12.10   
Added to the Directory:  Sajja Arts Collective, based in nearby Stafford. They have a recording studio for hire, and write… “We run a number of community-based projects across the Midlands in a variety of art forms. We have received backing from the Foundation of Youth Music, Staffordshire Council, Stafford Arts and The Arts Council and have helped over 5,000 young people gain new skills.”

New! 14.12.10   
The Jobling Gowler Art Competition 2011 is now open, and is themed “East Cheshire: its Plain and Peaks”. Jobling Gowler are solicitors based in nearby Macclesfield, and they ran their first competition in conjunction with the Three Shires Textiles Festival in 2009. They have now decided to make it a biennial art competition. The overall prize winner in 2011 will receive £500, and there are category prizes of £200. The closing date for entries is 25th March 2011. Full details are available at the website.

New! 14.12.10   
Stained-glass artist Dave Griffin is holding a three-day weekend event at Bakewell in the nearby Peak District, offering an introduction to the design and making of decorative stained glass panels. Cost is £325. Dates for 2011 are: 8th – 10th April 2011, or 23rd – 25th September 2011.


Added to Creative Stoke, 13th December 2010

New! 13.12.10   
Job:  The Staffordshire/Stoke-on-Trent organisation Make Some Noise requires a part-time (3 days / 22 hours p.w.) skilled Projects Officer. Application deadline: 14th January 2011. For more information on the post please contact Liz Muge, Chief Executive Officer on 01785 278289 or liz.muge@staffordshire.gov.uk

New! 13.12.10   
Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced a new £80m arts fund, which it is hoped will lever in another £80m from private philanthropists over the next four years. The initial £80m will be made up of £30 million from the taxpayer (via the DCMS departmental budget), and up to £50 million of Lottery funding over five years from 2011/12. The fund will help arts organisations to develop their fundraising capacities, and to identify and cultivate potential business donors and sponsors.

New! 13.12.10   
NESTA’s new study of creative industries clusters in the UK is out now, and accompanied by video from a November event in London on the topic. Unsurprisingly the report opens with the finding that London dominates.

New! 13.12.10   
The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) is undertaking an online survey to determine the historical cost of commissioning new music — so as to provide a point of reference to help those in the industry calculate cost price structures.

New! 13.12.10   
Job:  Education Support Services Tutors: Arts (ref. BLUT0893) are required by Her Majesty’s Young Offender’s Institute Werrington, located in the countryside to the east of Stoke-on-Trent. There is one full time, permanent Art Tutor and one part-time (temp to 31/07/11) post available. Application deadline: 5th January 2011. Full details here.

There is also a current vacancy for a Sessional Tutor (Music Technology) at Her Majesty’s Young Offender’s Institute Swinfen Hall, near Lichfield, Staffordshire.

New! 13.12.10   
Job:  Paintings in Hospitals is seeking a Regional Co-ordinator to support the development of its loan schemes in the West Midlands. Paintings in Hospitals offers loans of art, and runs artist-in-residence projects. The work is home-based, with travel to healthcare sites required from time to time. A driving-license and access to a car is therefore essential. For more information about this opportunity or to apply (cover letter & C.V.), contact 020 7407 3222 or mail@paintingsinhospitals.org.uk

New! 13.12.10   
Those interested in ‘the maker revolution’, and itching to get their hands on the kit, may be interested in the new nearby community-access facility called Fab Lab Manchester.

New! 13.12.10   
The new novelette Blasphemer (Eternal Press, 2010) is the latest tale from Stoke-on-Trent novelist Phil Emery, formerly a Keele lecturer. As with his earlier novel set in a gothic alternative Burslem, Necromantra (2006), Emery’s new novel has a North Staffordshire flavour. Blasphemer is set in a fantasy landscape inspired by the Staffordshire Moorlands. The land is ruled over by the Othergods, evanescent beings who leech sustenance from the souls of humans, leaving them to live out pale aimless shadow-lives. Only one young man dares seek out the older earthy folk-magic that might save the land. Blasphemer is forthcoming in paperback from Eternal Press, and is available now for the Amazon Kindle.

New! 13.12.10   
Kal Di Capri writes to say that his Stoke semi-pro band (B52/Rockish) are in urgent need of two members. They need a Bass player (preferably with own bass, although one can be supplied), and a Drummer who will need their own equipment and transport. Interested? Call Kal on 07791 554620.


Added to Creative Stoke, 1st December 2010

New! 01.12.10   
Birmingham’s Producers’ Forum has announced they will be running the ’48 Hour Film Challenge’ as part of the Stoke Your Fires film and animation festival. The 48 Hour Film Challenge will launch at 10:00am on Saturday 19th February 2011 at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent. Films can be shot in any format using whatever equipment you wish (from HD cameras to your own mobile phone) — however it must be submitted on either a DVD, or uploaded to YouTube for viewing online, by the competition deadline. All films must be between one to seven minutes in length and there will be a theme your film must include, which will be announced at the start of the competition. Entry fee: Under 18s – £10; Over 18s – £15. Teams are limited to a maximum of five members only (the oldest member in the group will dictate the age group category). To register your interest and get an application form please contact Rebecca at:  info@producersforum.org.uk

New! 01.12.10   
Added to the Directory: Mat Edwards of Newcastle-under-Lyme. Mat has been a freelance artist and illustrator since 1992. Mat also has a portfolio on ImagineFX.


“Fruit”.


“Carnival”.


“Oriental Border”.

New! 01.12.10   
Staffordshire University has a new pre-start business support offer — but please note that this is only available to graduates, postgraduates and alumni from any Faculty within Staffordshire University. The university is currently accepting applications for the September 2011 intake…

“Are you a student at Staffordshire University looking to start your own business: alongside your studies at Staffordshire University?; or instead of going into a company for your placement year? Or are you a Staffordshire University graduate who is looking to develop a business idea full or part-time?”

The University also has a wider start-up scheme for locally-based graduates from any university, which was previously featured on Creative Stoke in early November.

New! 01.12.10   
The Amazon / Penguin Breakthrough Novel Award, for self-published novelists, will open for entries in the General Fiction and Young Adult Fiction categories on 24th January 2011.