Pottery and calligraphy combine for Scran! project

A recent project combined two of my favourite things – food and calligraphy!

Diane Nicholson, from Muddy Fingers Pottery and I met while taking part in the Create North: Thrive and Grow course for South Tyneside creatives.

At the same time, Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums (TWAM) issued a brief for workshops that would complement the Scran! exhibition at South Shields Museum and Art Gallery.

Diane, whose studio is based in Jarrow, suggested working together and put forward an idea for personalised plates, which was accepted.

Scran! at South Shields Museum and Art Gallery.

Community Workshops inspired by Scran! exhibition.

Diane and I worked with the same group of people over three sessions at the museum.

She got the ball rolling with a pottery class, in which the participants made plates out of clay and decorated them with their own designs.

The middle of each plate was left clear so a calligraphy quote could be added.

I then ran two calligraphy sessions, introducing the group to uncial script before giving them plenty of time to practice the words they wanted to put on their plate.

Their calligraphy was then scanned and turned into decals – printed using food-safe ceramic ink – to be transferred onto the plates.

I even got to have a go at transferring a decal myself when Diane invited me to the Muddy Fingers Pottery studio to watch the process.

The project was supported by TWAM, The Cultural Spring, South Tyneside Council, Kind Mind Community and People’s Postcode Lottery.

Scran! Charts the story of food and drink across South Tyneside and the wider region, from Roman times up to the present day.

Entry is free and the exhibition runs until January 25, 2025.

There’s actually some really lovely calligraphy among the exhibits, including a roll of honour listed the entire workforce of Wright’s Biscuits Ltd in May 1951 and some beautifully engraved copper and brass measures.

Leave a Comment