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Mar 20 / Melanie Hopwood

Chrysalis latest work

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Members, volunteers, everyone who comes to pottery at Chrysalis made a contribution to this sign, making and/or painting the handmade tiles. Special thanks to Dave Belcher for mounting and framing it. Pleased to see it is now gracing the entrance to The Torch Centre, Hexham, where Chrysalis meet every week.

Chrysalis_flowers Chrysalis_owlsOther clay things members have been working on include these lovely flower bowls and animals, these owls are particularly cute.

Mar 10 / Melanie Hopwood

Monday – Two new haiku

bare foot in the flow

momentary interruption

parted ripples join


the cold winds have blown

deep cut channels through the rock

an old story told

Sep 19 / Melanie Hopwood

and more cratery experiments…

swirlycrater_2swirlycrater_1swirlycrater_3Recycling random clay and glazes has breathed a bit of new life into my work. Definite possibilities for what could be incorporated into some sculptural pieces. Very happy with how these are developing I have more experiments in progress.

Sep 19 / Melanie Hopwood

ooh, cratery experiments…

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Sep 17 / Melanie Hopwood

Stanley Burn


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Over the summer I’ve really enjoyed working with the lovely staff and residents at Stanley Burn Care Centre in Wylam, Northumberland. Over 6 sessions we created a colourful, tiled sign to welcome people at the entrance to the care home. The tiles incorporate ideas, people and places that have some significance to residents or to the area. I also collected some local flora which we impressed into some of the tiles, helping to ‘root’ it into place. I’m looking forward to seeing the tiles mounted in place soon, will post a finished picture when complete.

Jun 25 / Melanie Hopwood

Off to a new home

boulder_outsideOne of my large works is off to a new home today. It is a commission so it never was truly mine but I shall be a little sad to see it go… We’ve been through a lot together you see. The commission was for a scaled up version of one of my haiku boulders. Scaling up brought a lot of problems. The first effort kept sinking as I was building it, despite various efforts to build supports into the design etc. Managed to make it to the kiln but its bottom blew off, so to speak. So, I commissioned a large mould to support the next effort whilst building (thanks B & C Mouldmaking, in my old haunt – Stoke on Trent). Once mould arrived some hilarious antics ensued. Imagine trying to manoeuvre a huge 75 cm plaster mould (that’s v heavy already by the way) filled with about 20kg of clay. Without doing your back in. And that’s not all, then imagine trying to lower said beast into a toploading kiln. Twice. So, now you can see why it is not without a little sadness that I am saying “Goodbye”…..

Mar 8 / Melanie Hopwood


Ceramic sculpture set of 3 pieces which form a complete haiku
Paperclay, underglazes, oxides, bronze glaze, matt blue glaze
January 2013

Mar 8 / Melanie Hopwood


Ceramic sculpture with impressed haiku
Paperclay, underglazes, oxides, bronze glaze
January 2013

Oct 22 / Melanie Hopwood


Working hard trying to get a bit more depth and richness to the surface of the rockpool boulders. Bringing in a few more sunset colours of purples and oranges as a background to the other stormy tones. Of course it always helps to have Sue Spencer’s wonderful haiku poems to work with I’ve even taken a few teetering steps and started incorporating some haiku of my own. A bit rough around the edges. Funny, I find it easier to impress them into clay than commit them to paper or blog – thinking of how the words physically work on a 3 dimensional object is one of my favourite creative processes, it really helps to form the rhythm of each haiku and the rhythm of each sculpture also.

Oct 22 / Melanie Hopwood

Portrait of a school

Recently took a trip back to St. Agnes Primary School in Crawcrook to talk to some (absolutely fab) Year 2’s about Clarice Cliff. Took the opportunity to take some pics of the artwork that myself and the pupils created in 2010 whilst still in their old building. Artwork is now sited in the new building which they moved into last year. Wonderful installation courtesy of Jim (James Alderson)