Volunteer Flower Army created as part of Spode’s British Ceramics Biennial


Assembling a Volunteer Flower Army is just one of the ways Stoke-on-Trent people are working together to help celebrate the British Ceramics Biennial.

The event, launched in 2009, is being held for the fourth time in venues around the city, including the historic Spode Works pottery factory.

Now in its third week, the festival, which runs until November 8, includes art installations, as well as workshops and gastronomical events to honour the city’s long ceramics history.

One such workshop  – the Volunteer Flower Army  – has seen people creating bone china forget-me-nots, as part of a project to mark the First World War Centenary and people of all ages have been getting their hands dirty working with clay to make the pieces.

The Burslem China Painters have also been involved in the event, painting images of loved ones from the war onto ceramic discs as keepsakes, as well as creating cardboard versions of the dog tags worn by soldiers.

The dog tags and the ceramic flowers join together as part of the ‘Resonate’ audio visual installation by artists Stephen Dixon and Johnny Magee, where two tons of raw clay have been formed into the shape of a man’s head, surrounded by the small artefacts.

Visitors are encouraged to write a message for someone lost in the war, which is then added to scaffolding surrounding the art piece.

Watch the interview below with Katie Leonard, education project manager, for more about the event:

The British Ceramics Biennial runs until next month, at venues all around the city. Visit their website for more information about events you can attend.


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