At a time when digital technologies allow us to scan and replicate complex forms and gain instant access to a huge wealth of knowledge and information, the business of making by hand could seem to be unnecessary and nostalgic. This project focuses on the largely overlooked knowledge and skills of a group of local people and playfully revels in the dialogue between the eye, hand, intellect and material. In this way it sets out to celebrate the ingenuity and problem solving skills of these individuals, and to draw our attention to the importance and culture of ‘hands on’ practice.
The project begins with a 3-week residency at AirSpace, when the artists will work with a group of local volunteers who have agreed to step outside their individual comfort zones to participate in the making of the artwork. Each member of this group, including a dentist, hairdresser, masseur, blacksmith, boulderer, dressmaker, jeweler and design technologist, has their own unique 3D thinking and making skills.
Working with a custom made modular structure built by Dunhill and O’Brien during the residency, the participants will explore a range of terms and conditions for collaborative making, using raw clay, and employing experimental methods that test the limits of verbal and visual communication. The structure extending throughout the gallery acts as a working environment and filming device, where interactions will be documented during the residency.
For the exhibition, AirSpace’s main gallery will see the structure convert into a large-scale installation, incorporating and displaying the artists’ response to the objects produced, and the various processes and procedures captured by cameras and other recording devices during the residency.

AirSpace Gallery, 4 Broad Street, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 4HL

Open Thursday to Saturday 11:00am to 5:00pm Tuesdays and Wednesdays by appointment

RESIDENCY 5th-23rd August

Public Open Days
Friday 9th August 11am-2pm
Wednesday 14th August 2pm-5pm
Thursday 15th August 11am-2pm
Friday 16th August 11am-2pm
Wednesday 21st August 2pm-5pm
Thursday 22nd August 11am-2pm
Friday 23rd August 11am-2pm

EXHIBITION – 7th September to 13th October
Open Daily 11am-5pm

Open concurrently with the AirSpace exhibition is a two-screen projection at the Gladstone Pottery Museum that will relate the residency activities to the various processes demonstrated within this inspiring living heritage setting.

Gladstone Pottery Museum, Uttoxeter Road, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, ST3 1PQ

Open Tuesdays – Saturdays and Bank Holidays April – September: 10am – 5pm October – March: 10am – 4pm

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