Pontypool Patterns Finale!

Since last summer I have been working with Broadbent Studio and Torfaen Council on their Pontypool Patterns Project, in Pontypool, South Wales. Broadbent Studio created five sculptures to install into the streetscape, as part of the regeneration of Pontypool’s High Street.

The sculptures act as meeting points and incidental seating. They also commemorate Pontypool’s Japan-ware Industry by featuring site-specific patterns. This is where my involvement with the project came in! I created a range of surface pattern designs inspired by Pontypool’s heritage and culture. I focused on five core themes established by the community. These included; Rugby, Industry, Pontypool Market, Pontypool Park and artwork created by West Monmouthshire School. A community steering group selected the five final designs; to decorate the spherical stainless steel and enamel sculptures. After meeting the enamel printers to discuss the final details and learn more about the printing process, the designs were then finalised and sent for production.

Since then I have hardly been able to wait to see the finished sculptures! Last Thursday they were finally unveiled and installed on George Street and I am now thrilled to be able to show you some photographs of them in place! It has been a fantastic project to be involved with. I am delighted with the vibrancy of the sculptures and how well they complement their surrounding and capture the heritage and spirit of Pontypool.


Pontypool Patterns – Initial Ideas

I have created some initial surface pattern designs for Broadbent Studio and the Pontypool Patterns Project. These will soon be presented to a steering group in Pontypool, who will select their favourite designs to be developed. The chosen patterns will then feature on sculptures inserted into George Street as part of its redevelopment.

Aspects of Pontypool’s heritage and culture have inspired the patterns, including Pontypool’s rugby team, its industry, its market and its fabulous park. I have also designed a pattern inspired by the artwork created by local school children for the project.

I look forward to hearing the feedback from the Pontypool community and developing the designs further following this.

For the full selection of ideas for this project please visit the ‘Community Work’ page.

Margate Hosts The Boat Project – The Gifting Of The Sail

Margate gave the sail to The Boat Project last weekend. The boat crew were delighted, as were Alice and I (it was the first time we’d seen the sail since it had been made).

The weekend was full of celebrations to welcome The Boat Project. On the Friday evening, Alice and I held a drop in workshop at the Turner Contemporary to make more flags for the procession. Saturday was the day of the procession and we gathered (in the rain) at Margate Station. The procession then travelled to the harbour to see the boat. The sail was being carried in a woven bottle and was presented to the boat as part of an elaborate dance act. The sail was then unravelled and draped over the boat. Due to the poor weather conditions we were unable to attach the sail to the mast, which was a little disappointing. However, the sail will be in place when the boat is displayed in Milton Keynes later this week. I am so pleased with the sail, and the people of Margate loved it too!

Margate Hosts The Boat Project – Sail

The time has come…

The sail has been designed, printed and assembled by the sail maker and is now ready to be given to boat!!! I have seen some photos and it looks fantastic! Here are some preview shots of the sail being made…





I’m so excited to see it on the boat this weekend! More pictures to follow after the event.

Pontypool Patterns

I am currently working with Broadbent Studios on their Pontypool Patterns Project. George Street in Pontypool, South Wales is being regenerated and as part of this regeneration process, Broadbent Studios will be inserting five sculptures into the streetscape. These sculptures will be a contemporary representation of the Japan tinware that Pontypool was so famous for producing during the 1700’s. Each sculpture will feature a pattern inspired by Pontypool and the workshops taking place within the community. It is my job to create patterns based on some of the fantastic drawing work and community engagement that takes place at these workshops. The five selected patterns will be screen-printed onto enamel and then mechanically fixed, from the inside, to steel hemisphere sculptures (visualised below). The rest of the patterns created (we hope to have plenty) will form an archive online and will also feature in an exhibition.

After spending two days exploring Pontypool and meeting different community groups in mid June I have been working away on a series of designs… so watch this space for developments!


Above: Broadbent Studio’s Pontypool Patterns Sculpture Proposal

Below: George Street (before regeneration)


Margate Hosts The Boat Project – A Day of Workshops

I am very excited to announce that I have been asked by Alice Kettle to assist her in designing a sail as part of the Lone Twin Boat Project.

For those who do not know… The Lone Twin Boat Project is part of London’s 2012’s Cultural Olympiad. The main focus of the project is a yacht, created using wooden objects donated by communities in the South East of the country, with each piece holding it’s own story. The yacht will be sailing to harbours along the South East Coast, including Emsworth, Brighton, Portsmouth, Hastings, Margate and then finally ending up in Milton Keynes.

Alice’s sail will be presented as a gift to the yacht when it arrives in Margate, the weekend of 13th July. The sail will be printed and features drawings created by residents and communities in Margate. My job will be to convert these drawing into a print design. The sail is over 8 metres long and so will be my largest printed surface to work on yet!

My first involvement with the project began last Friday when I helped Alice to lead a series of workshops with various community groups in Margate, including;

  • Thanet Day Opportunity Services

  • Hartsdown Academy School

  • and visitors of the Lifeboat Pub in the evening!

During the workshops we created bunting and flags to decorate the harbour for the ‘Margate Hosts the Boat Project’ event. The mission was to make as much as possible as we need miles of bunting for the harbour. Everyone was delighted to be adding a contributing to the celebration.

I also met some of the people who have contributed artwork for the sail. They are all looking forward to being able to locate their artwork on the sail, emphasising the importance of our design job!

I am looking forward to visiting Margate again on the 23rd June for another day of workshops in the Library and Turner Contemporary Museum.


Visiting Chorlton Good Neighbours

Last week I visited the Chorlton Good Neighbours Coffee Morning with other members of the Design Lab to provide feedback about our Age Friendly Manchester Project in association with Valuing Older People and Manchester Council. We felt it was important to return to the coffee morning, as the conversations we had with the older people there, fuelled the direction of our project.

I took the lamp that I had created, as it included details of conversations with the coffee morning members and other comments made by the general public in response. I was intrigued to discover their thoughts about the lamp and whether they agreed with the additional comments that I had collected.

The lamp was an instant talking point and was the perfect tool for prompting further conversation. The comments and tags on the lamp provoked a mixed response; some people were opposed to the comments, whereas others agreed with them. This was just the sort of reaction I had hoped for and it was great to see a buzz of activity around the lamp.

Please see the link below featuring Gemma’s interview with Bernard Leach. She describes our projects in further detail and my lamp is featured in the background!