PROJECT & PROCESS
Brexit Ware emerged from the early days after Britain's referendum on EU membership in June 2016. During this time I started painting on my own hand made plates. But it wasn't enough, in the spirit of the debate since the 2016 referendum 'the people' needed to own the Brexit Ware project just like we were told that we owned the Brexit vote. So I turned to 'mass' production.
A visit to Stoke-on-Trent in late June 2016 and an event at the Ashmolean Museum (which included a talk by artist Neil Brownsword and a demonstration by Spode's master engraver Paul Holdway) introduced me to the potteries. Paul and his wife Kath have been a huge help ever since in making contacts in the industry and in the development of each piece in the project. I am now working with Edwards and Lockett, a small family run business in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent for production of Brexit Ware.
Brexit Ware is blue and white, bone china transferware, made in the United Kingdom, with one exception - the egg cups. The whiteware for these is made in China representing new trading alliances after Brexit. The transferware is produced using a 4-step process: I paint the design, which is used to make silk-screens for transfer production. The transfers are used to decorate whiteware - blank, glazed bone china. The decorated pieces are then re-fired.
Our firing temperatures are higher than usual for most transferware - high enough to melt the glaze. In this way the cobalt pigment enters into the glaze. This is known as 'in-glaze' firing and means that Brexit Ware is smooth to the touch, shiny and looks authentically like antique blue and white china, such as the willow pattern and other Spode wares produced in Stoke-on-Trent from the late 18th century onwards.
Brexit Ware has evolved with the times. I use different traditional English china design templates - such as the willow pattern and J&G Meakin's fortune-telling teacup - for inspiration to record the events of Brexit as they unfold. Individual and limited edition pieces are being made for the end of the project. For further information please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
What does the Weeping Willow plate show?
This ‘Weeping Willow’ plate has been produced to record
the early days in 2016 after the UK’s vote on
Some features that may be spotted:
1 The coasts of Britain and north western Europe
2 Storm clouds brewing over Britain
3 Britons with wrecking bar and sledge hammer
walking away from a wrecked bridge between
the UK and Europe
4 Refugee parent and child in an enclosure
south of Calais
5 Westminster shaken by the outcome of
6 Politics in Brussels
7 Positive EU legislation represented by better access for disabled around Europe
8 Changing trade rules between the UK and other
EU member states
9 Angela Merkel watching over events as they unfold
10 A boat full of EU nationals leaving the UK to return to continental Europe
11 New trading alliances for the UK outside the EU
12 The 12 stars of the EU flag reconfiguring