Added to Creative Stoke, 21st September 2011

The annual North Staffordshire “Let’s Do Business” expo is back in 2011. 100 local businesses will be at the Britannia Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, on 8th November 2011. In previous years this has been strictly “businesses only” — business support organisations have been turned away on enquiring about stands.

The Legacy of Susie Cooper” is a Wedgwood Museum Friends’ Event on 25th September 2011 (2pm-4pm) in the Museum’s Education Room. £7.50 for members, £9.50 for non-members…

“The legacy of Susie Cooper” is the subject of the Friends Lecture on 25th September 2011. Susie was always surprised that her cups and saucers should find themselves in museum showcases as well as on the table. Miss Cooper also has a few surprises for us when we take a look at her technical prowess using the trials and prototypes which she so kindly donated to the museum before she left for the Isle of Man in 1986.

Added to the Directory: Janet Sutton, a Chapterhouse trained proofreader based in Staffordshire.

Added to the Directory: Alive HQ, a well-equipped new music studio in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Stoke-on-Trent band All The Young have officially signed to Warner Brothers Records, and they have an E.P. out on the 10th October 2011, preceded by a gig at The Kings Hall in Stoke Town on 8th October.

The Edwardian Electric Picture House in Congleton has been taken over by local artists and they’re putting in artists’ studios and an exhibition space. The project is supported by a £400 grant from Congleton Town Council. Chris and his friends hope to have the new venue open by the end of 2011. Video…

Your editor now has two new books available as ebooks for the Amazon Kindle ereader. Lovecraft in Historical Context: further essays is a 31,000 word collection of essays on the life and times of author H.P. Lovecraft, fronted with my new original short story “The Quest to Azathoth” — so by downloading a free 10% sample from Amazon you’ll be able to read the first half of the story for free. Also available is my Walking With Cthulhu: H.P. Lovecraft as psychogeographer, New York City 1924-26 which weighs in at 51,000 words. You can also download it free as a PDF.

The Friends of The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery are hosting a talk by author Matthew Rice on 23rd November 2011 (7.15pm) on The Lost City of Stoke-on-Trent. Signed copies of his book, of the same name, will be available. Contact the Museum for full details.

2011’s Reginald Haggar Memorial Lecture at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery will be given by Stoke-on-Trent M.P. Tristram Hunt, on “Priestley‘s three Englands, Haggar‘s six towns”.
The venue is The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, 5th November 2011 from 2.30pm. Contact the Museum for full details.

Guided tours of the Nicholson Institute (Stockwell Street in Leek) are available during September 2011. The building is a purpose-built late Victorian library and art gallery, by the Leek architect William Sugden. It is of Queen Anne style with original Arts and Crafts features in the interior and on the exterior. Tours only available by prior arrangement for groups of 4 persons or more. Contact Cathy Braddock tel: 01538 483206. The Institute still functions for its original purpose, and in Sept-Nov 2011 hosts Inspired by Flora — an Midland Textile Forum textiles exhibition celebrating both familiar and exotic flowers and plants which have inspired artists and textile designers throughout history.

The town of Leek is having a Silk & Celebrities week, with plenty of fabric-related adult creative workshops in early October 2011. The full programme is available here (Word .doc file).


Permapost: this blog mirrors the What’s New? page on Creative Stoke.

Welcome! This weblog mirrors the “What’s New?” page on the Creative Stoke website.

This serves two functions – it automatically distributes creative news and opportunities from North Staffordshire to the rest of the world, and also allows readers to get the latest news in a way (in this case a simple RSS newsfeed) that’s convenient for them.

Added to Creative Stoke, 13th September 2011

Stoke Film Theatre re-opened on 12th September 2011, and they need volunteers. Interested in helping to run Stoke’s unique art-house cinema? Please contact:

Local ceramicist Denise O’Sullivan is inviting bookings for her Arts & Vintage Pop Up Emporium event, a large selling event to be held at the PiCL Palace in Newcastle-under-Lyme. Applications need to be in by the 30th September 2011. See the Facebook page for full details.

Midland Federation of Museums & Art Galleries are holding a conference on “The Feel Good Museum“, on 13th October 2011 (10am–3.30pm). It’ll be at the Walsall Leather Museum, and will ask: “What can museums do to improve the nation’s wellbeing and happiness? [and will present] a range of practical ways [to do this] through museum collections and resources.” The cost is £22 for membership of the Midlands Federation of Museums and Art Galleries + the event fee.

The Sentinel newspaper website now has a new feature, one that lets you write and send in your own local news story (it’s not meant for press releases). Go to the front page and look for “Write an article” on the right-hand menu bar…

Once you’ve signed up, you’ll be sent to a simple blog-like form…

The Regent Academy of Performing Arts has launched in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. This drama club is the “next step up” from The Regent Theatre’s existing ‘Dots’ and ‘Dashes’ children’s groups. Full details are available from:

A generous bequest from the estate of Gertrude Ashton Bowater means that a small number of scholarships for M.A. degrees in art are available at BIAD in Birmingham. Deadline: 16th September 2011.

The 2011 Artists’ Access to Art Colleges scheme is now open. Once again, the nearest participating colleges are Derby and Birmingham.

A short evening meeting… “open to studio, design and industry potters and anyone connected to the historic pottery industry” is to happen at the Wedgwood Institute, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent on Friday 7th October 2011 (5:30pm-8pm). This is part of the British Ceramics Biennial. There will be a guided tour of the disused property, and a talk by historian Fred Hughes. Full information from:

Added to Creative Stoke, 8th September 2011

Staffordshire County Council is offering places on a course that can lead to a recognised qualification in the arts. The ‘Bronze Arts Award’ is open to young people aged between 11 and 14, and fully funded places are available. It takes place at the Shire Hall Gallery in Stafford town between September and October 2011. There are four stages to the programme which include: taking part in an a practical, hands-on workshop; attending an arts event; researching arts heroes and heroines; and sharing or demonstrating their creative skills to others. Interested? Contact Laura Hilton at:

The annual Arnold Bennett Weekend October Seminar is to be held at Wedgwood College and Conference Centre, near Stoke-on-Trent, on 8th/9th October 2011. The title is Eighty Years On: The Enduring Legacy of Arnold Bennett. The Society also has dates for its 2012 annual conference, which will take place on 9th June 2012 at the North Staffordshire Medical Institute in Hartshill.

There will be a one-day Arts & Health conference in Stoke-on-Trent, at the newly refurbished Mitchell Arts Centre, Hanley, on 12th October 2011. Full information at the conference Web page.

A substantial ‘taster’ for Stoke-on-Trent’s new Prototype magazine issue 1 is now available for the Kindle, directly from the Amazon store. It can’t be priced as free, but it’s set at the lowest possible price of 89p.

Staffordshire University is to get an extra £1.2m each year (until 2015) from the Higher Education Innovation Fund. This will help fund student research placements and internships in industry. The money will also help support existing ways for local firms to consult with university staff. The new funds can be spent on areas such as digital media and design, among others.

Keele University has a Postgraduate Open Afternoon on 14th September 2011 (3.30pm-6.30pm) in the Chancellor’s Building, manned by representatives from the Faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Natural Sciences.

Keele University will be hosting a talk on the new European Horizon 2020 funding scheme on 12th October 2011. Horizon 2020 will be a new integrated EU funding system that will cover all research and innovation funding. The new programme will subsume the EU’s previous Programme for Research and Technical Development (PRTD), the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). It will come into force (if the EU doesn’t collapse first) in 2014. Funds are to be increased by 46% above the previous schemes.

Advance news on a creative/history conference in Stoke-on-Trent, Exporting Stoke and Beyond: Tiles and Architectural Ceramics in the World Context. This is a Tiles and Architectural Ceramics Society conference, and will be held on 12th November 2011 at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Hanley. The conference seeks to place tile making in the city in context of the history of world trade, including the British Empire and its vigourous promotion of free trade.

The Burslem School of Art is having a competitive Open Art Exhibition. Entries are invited for ‘bringing in’ on 27th & 28th October 2011 (10am-5pm). The work must be: by someone from Stoke-on-Trent; completed within the last year; be professionally framed; and be for sale to the public. There is a hanging fee of £15 if selected. See the Web page for full details.

Added to Creative Stoke, 6th September 2011

06.09.11    Stoke’s-on-Trent’s Place, Space and Identity programme of six artist commissions is having a Closing Event on 21st September 2011, from 1pm – 5pm (including lunch). Full details at the website.

06.09.11    Stoke-on-Trent’s new Prototype magazine is now officially on sale to the public. Creative Stoke has coded a Kindle ‘taster’ edition, which should be available via Amazon in a few days.

06.09.11    The new West Midlands Independent Publishers Network (no website or blog, yet) is set to hold a publisher fair at the Eastside Projects venue in Digbeth, Birmingham, on Saturday 8th October 2011 (10am – 4pm). Offering… “a chance to explore the vibrant independent publishing movement in the West Midlands and beyond.”

06.09.11    Novelist, playwright and poet David Calcutt is offering a writing workshop which includes a journey around Lichfield Cathedral. Saturday 24th September 2011 (11am – 2pm), meeting outside the cathedral entrance, and gathering later at the nearby Minster Coffee Shop for writing, sharing and lunch (lunch not included in cost). Cost: £8. To book a place please email:

06.09.11    Added to the Directory: Arbour Productions, a video production service based in Stoke-on-Trent.

06.09.11    Dead Radio Society is a four-man indie band based at Keele University. The launch of their new Plan Z album will be on 14th October 2011 at the Rigger pub in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, North Staffordshire.

06.09.11    Keele Poets are running a tutor-led ‘Writing Poetry’ course at Silverdale Public Library in Newcastle-under-Lyme. The dates are 29th September – 8th December 2011 (Thurs, 10am – 12 noon). The workshops are aimed primarily at poets with some writing experience, although one or two newcomers are welcomed every year. Many of the group attended these poetry workshops when they were run by Keele University’s adult education programme. The cost is £70 per term. Booking is first-come, first-served and must be booked in advance. Please contact Caroline for further information and a booking form, at:

Added to Creative Stoke, 3rd September 2011

03.09.11   Job:  Stockport College requires a Lecturer in Graphic Design.

03.09.11    Stoke-on-Trent’s new Prototype magazine is now officially on sale to the public. A Kindle edition is coming very soon. Subscriptions are £10 for 4 issues. Some advertising space is still available in the second issue.

Click the image for the large version.

03.09.11    Defying Definitions: a disability arts symposium will be happening 1st – 2nd December 2011 at the Arena Theatre, Wulfruna Street, Wolverhampton. Tickets on sale now. Full details at the conference Web page.

03.09.11    Will Kemp has a new educational website Will Kemp Art School. Will is running an art surgery on 12th September in Marton, Cheshire, “for artists who would like a professional critique on their work.” This will be a small group of six per class, informal, and will cost £30 for three hour class. More details at the website.

Added to Creative Stoke, 1st September 2011

01.09.11   The new July 2011 edition of “A Guide To Sources Of Small Business Finance In The West Midlands” is now available. Everything you need to know about the current funding landscape for small firms.

01.09.11   Job:  The Stoke-on-Trent British Ceramics Biennial has a Resident Artist Opportunity, deadline 7th September 2011. They are seeking an experienced mid-career maker with an interest in using, exploring and adapting ceramic processes and/or clay for a residency at Willow Bank CIC medical centre. Full details are online here

01.09.11   M.A. in Creative Futures at Staffordshire University.
Recruiting now for September! Specialist pathways and awards available in: Design; Ceramic Design; Graphic Design; Product Design; Surface Pattern Design; Textile Design; 3D Design; Advertising and Brand Management; Illustration; Animation; VFX; Photography; Contemporary Art Practice; Writing; Heritage and Culture; and Applied Theatre.

01.09.11   Job:  The University of Wolverhampton’s School of Art and Design requires a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Applied Arts (Ceramics) (Ref A5701). You should have a relevant Masters degree or equivalent, a PhD is desirable, plus a relevant track record and teaching skills. You will also be required to teach in glass and 3D design. Deadline: 16th September 2011.

01.09.11   Are you a nerd, geek, or techie? Know your Kindle from your dongle? GeekUp Staffordshire is having a meeting at Alsager, just north of Stoke-on-Trent, on Wednesday 27th September 2011 (7pm).

01.09.11   Barewall in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, has is taking part in the Open Studios weekend on 17th-18th September 2011. This will included live demonstrations by Rob Pointon and Kevin Millward, 10am – 4.30pm in the Barewall Studio. There will be a further Open Studios weekend at the same venue on 24th-25th September 2011.

01.09.11   Staffordshire Open Studios weekends are coming up fast, with the first on 17th-18th September 2011. The online PDF brochure for 2011/12 can be downloaded here (PDF link, 12Mb).

01.09.11   A new centre for the arts opens this year in an imposing Edwardian building in the Staffordshire Moorlands market town of Leek. The first event will be Saturday October 15th 2011 (10am-4pm). Borderland Voices and the Leek Community Benefit Society extend an invitation to high quality crafts makers to promote and sell their original work at this new and exciting venue in the centre of town, on a date which coincides with the monthly Fine Food Market. Tables are initially at the special introductory price of £10. Its hoped this will lead to quarterly Craft Fairs. If you are interested in booking a place please email:  by Monday 5th September 2011, with a description of your craft and a Web-link if you have one. They will then send a booking form together with a publicity flyer and further details.

01.09.11   The Borough Museum and Art Gallery, Newcastle-under-Lyme, are holding their ‘Open Art and Craft’ exhibition for artists and crafts people from the Borough and the whole of Staffordshire. The show will run from 17th September to 6th November 2011. To enter simply fill in a form available from the Museum reception from 1st August onwards, a downloadable version is also be available from their website. Delivery date for submissions: Saturday 3rd – 6th September 2011. Full details at their website.

01.09.11   As part of the national Artist’s Access to Art Colleges scheme, Arts in the Peak will be offering four placements to artists and designer-makers. Any area of practice will be considered. Closing date for applications is: 21st September 2011. For an application pack please contact them directly at:  This is a rare local opportunity, since Artist’s Access to Art Colleges usually comes nowhere near North Staffordshire. The other nearest participating institutions in 2011 are Derby, Birmingham, and Chester.

01.09.11   Birmingham’s First Light are looking for people 16-25 years of age with some knowledge or experience of working in the film industry? Is that you? Would you like the opportunity to learn from award winning producers ‘just what it takes’ to become a film producer on a 4-day course?

The LAB will offer participants the opportunity to learn all about the role of the producer, how to develop, produce and distribute a short film, how to build a career as a film producer and the skills and experience required to work in the film industry. Through a series of case studies of short films, sessions from guest speakers, role play and project work participants will spend 4 days getting to grips with just what it takes to be a film producer. The Birmingham course will run 21st-22nd September & 28th-29th September 2011. Each day will run from 10-6 and you must be available to attend all hours on all four days. This course is free of charge to successful applicants and some travel bursaries may be available. Apply with a one-page C.V. and a letter stating why the course would be useful to you. Please send to: with SECOND LIGHT LAB in the header subject-line. Your application should arrive no later than Friday 2nd September at 5pm.

01.09.11   Nearby Wolverhampton’s Flip! Animation Festival is on from 27th to 29th October 2011, including guest talks by creatives at Aardman (confirmed). Check the website for full details of the talks and events.

01.09.11   Birmingham City University’s BIAD School of Jewellery is seeking a mid-career Jeweller/Silversmith and a Textile Artist/Designer (both with a minimum of 5 years experience) for a residency in Oct 2011 – Mar 2012. The programme will offer nine residencies to “explore commissioning models”, followed by a touring exhibition and opportunities for students, graduates and professional makers.

01.09.11   Red Door Studios, in Burton-on-Trent, is holding a September Weekend Animation School, for any age and ability. Students will have the opportunity to try their hand at drawn, stop-motion, and cut-out animation and more. Individual tuition £26 per hour, group sessions available. Price includes materials, equipment, software, time in a working animation house, and an ‘end of term’ DVD and showcase featuring your work!

01.09.11   The following free artists’ talks will take place at the newly refurbished Mitchell Arts Centre (formerly the Mitchell Memorial Theatre) in Stoke-on-Trent , in September 2011…

* Thursday 8th September, 6pm: Anoushka Athique
* Thursday 22nd September, 6pm: B. Arts

There is also an on-site “Meet the Artist” event outside the main Stoke-on-Trent train station: Rich White on 20th September 2011 from 6pm to 7.30pm. (Meet at Platform 4 outside the train station). Rich will be talking about his new sculpture incorporating the Wedgwood statue in Winton Square.

Full information at: Place, Space, Identity.

01.09.11   Praxis is holding an arts & health event on 27th September 2011 (Staffordshire University, 10am–12.30pm), to… “Explore how to market yourself as an artist in health and wellbeing contexts and how to use social networking to promote you and your work.”

They also have a session on “Tender Writing: Changes in the NHS” (artists will be invited to tender for health based work in future) on 8th November 2011 (6pm–8.30pm, Pie and Ale House, Stafford).

To book a place or for more information, contact Sarah-Jane Watkinson, Praxis Events Co-ordinator at:

01.09.11   Job:  In the autumn of 2011, Women of Wolverhampton are working with artists from Laundry on a project on the Scotlands estate as part of the Dreams and Realities project. They would like to offer a bursary of £900 to a young and emerging locally-based artist to participate in this project on the Scotlands estate. They have no preference for artform. We are more interested in artists seeking to expand their practice within a social context. Deadline for full submissions: 16th September 2011. For further project details, contact: Beverley Harvey, Participation Project Officer for WOW at:

01.09.11   Stoke-on-Trent City Libraries are looking for volunteers to read to housebound and elderly people in the city. Starting September 2011. Interested? Call: 01782 234567.

01.09.11   The Arvon Foundation grant fund has some bursaries available specifically to help writers from the West Midlands. Successful applicants will be given grant of for up to 90% of the course fees. They have a relatively local residential centre in Shropshire. If you would like to attend an Arvon residential creative writing course on theatre, film, comedy, TV or radio and you live in the West Midlands, please contact:

01.09.11   Your editor has a new history book available now. Walking With Cthulhu : H.P. Lovecraft as psychogeographer, New York City 1924-26 is 55,000 words, 198 pages, illustrated, and heavily referenced. I’m experimenting with giving it away free, for a limited time. Yes, that’s right the whole book for free, at least in PDF form. In exchange… please consider putting a web link to the paperback version on your blog, or mentioning it to your Facebook friends? Download it free (PDF, 4Mb) — or buy a new paperback copy here! The contents list is here.

Also published over the summer, my new book of miscellaneous essays on Lovecraft. This also includes a new and original 5,000-word fantasy-horror short story, and has a new cover illustration, both by myself. Lovecraft in Historical Context: Further Essays and Notes. is available now in paperback.

01.09.11   Staffordshire horror author Phil Emery, based in Newcastle-under-Lyme, has a new novel out called The Shadow Cycles. This is a follow-up novel to writer and lecturer Emery’s Stoke-on-Trent-set novel Necromantra (2006). The Shadow Cycles is a complex novel that updates the sword-&-sorcery genre for the twenty-first century, and is published by Stafford-based Immanion Press.

01.09.11   A new Arts Council funded research-paper on the economy and value of the small-scale visual arts sector in the UK, Size Matters: Notes towards a Better Understanding of the Value, Operation and Potential of Small Visual Arts Organisations.

01.09.11   Staffordshire is set to join new ‘Web archiving’ pilot scheme, being introduced by the UK National Archives. The aim is to archive suitable community websites. Staff from the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Stoke Archive Service will now be trained in how to develop a curated web archive of local sites. More news on this as it comes in.

01.09.11   Added to the Directory: Natasha Tideswell at Jeeberella’s Craft Castle and her blog.

01.09.11   Added to the Directory:  PS Mag is a new lesbigay magazine for Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. Regular editorial meetings are being held in Hanley in advance of the launch.

01.09.11   Added to the Directory:  Philip Kempson sends details of The Chameleon Project, a new video-production project in Stoke-on-Trent.

01.09.11   Added to the Directory:   Jewellery by Helen Smith.

01.09.11   Added to the Directory:   TISCOart is what appears to be (after a little digging) a locally-based blog, with excellent interviews with pop surrealist and lowbrow artists.

01.09.11   Added to the Directory:   Adam Pigford Bay is a specialist in urban design and graphic design practices, and has recently graduated from an M.A. in Design. His work can be seen online at his Flickr gallery. He’s based in Whitley, Staffordshire.

01.09.11   Added to the Directory:  Rebecca Lancaster Designs. Rebecca is a Leek-based illustrator and greetings card designer.

01.09.11   Added to the Directory:  Vizz Books is a new “independent reviewer, dealer and specialist in creative publications” based in Stoke-on-Trent.

01.09.11   Added to the Directory:  Assorted Records is a new independent record label for Staffordshire.

01.09.11   Added to the Directory:  The village of Madeley now has its own choir.

01.09.11   Added to the Directory:   Digital Delight are a creative digital agency based in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

01.09.11   All the Directory web links on Creative Stoke were checked by hand, and repaired if needed, at the end of July 2011.