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Poole Pottery inspires local people to get creative

A new contemporary art exhibition opens on Saturday 19 September at Poole Museum. Free Time is the result of a series of workshops held by artist Ian Giles with people who work in Poole, inspired by the creative freedom of Poole Pottery.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Poole Pottery became known for its bold and lively ceramics called Delphis. The unique Delphis style emerged from the Craft Studio where workers were given freedom to decorate each piece of pottery as their inspiration directed them. Workers at the pottery were also given time and materials to experiment and explore their own creativity alongside their routine jobs – this was called ‘Free Time’.

Ian Giles temporarily reintroduced Free Time in spring 2015 when he held ceramic glazing workshops during break times and after-work sessions. Staff from local businesses including Lush Cosmetics, Hamworthy Heating and the RNLI took part in the workshops at Poole Museum. Over four weeks the participants explored different glazing and drawing techniques. The ceramics from these sessions will be displayed in the museum in a special installation produced by Giles.

Ian wanted to connect contemporary workers to Poole’s creative past. He said: "I'm interested in how oral traditions, for example folk songs, are passed down and learnt between generations. In the same way, these pottery glazing workshops passed on local skills and heritage through the process of actively making something together".

The artist has also worked closely with Poole Museum staff to present a selection of original Delphis works and historical items. This display gives context to the 2015 Free Time project. The project is supported by Arts Council England and Borough of Poole Museum and Arts Service.

Cllr Xena Dion, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Local Economy, Culture and Leisure, Borough of Poole, said: "This is a very exciting project which not only recognises one of Poole's most famous industries but celebrates their craftsmanship in a creative and novel way.”

As part of the exhibition, there will be a question and answer session with Ian Giles on the 19 September, from 4pm to 5pm. Ian will be in conversation with Janet Parker Laird, former supervisor of the Delphis paintresses. This is a free event and there is no need to book.
The exhibition will run from 19 September to 15 December 2015. Entrance is free. For further information and times please visit www.poolemuseum.com.

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