Bideford tile-makers all fired up

HUNDREDS of ceramic tiles created by local people will fill Bideford s Kiln-in-the-Park for a mass firing this month. People of all ages and backgrounds have over the past two months been rolling up their sleeves, getting their hands covered in clay and l

HUNDREDS of ceramic tiles created by local people will fill Bideford's Kiln-in-the-Park for a mass firing this month.

People of all ages and backgrounds have over the past two months been rolling up their sleeves, getting their hands covered in clay and learning about the art of ceramic tile making!

The culmination of their creativity and hard work will be the firing and opening of the kiln alongside the Burton Art Gallery in Victoria Park, at midday on December 20.

The kiln will be filled with hundreds of tiles created by the 2nd Bideford Scouts, Bideford WI, Lampard Community School, Torridgeside Resource Centre and Devon Youth Services. They have been working with North Devon based artists Julie Bosworth, Merlynn Chesterman, Tom Hyde, Rupert Johnstone and Philip Leach to make a series of tiles which tell a tale of the River Torridge and the North Devon coastline.


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At the midday kiln opening ceremony there will be an opportunity to see the tiles and they will remain on display there until 3.30pm.

The kiln will also be filled with slipware pots created by more than 10 potters, including harvest jugs by Harry Juniper.

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The kiln represents an important part of North Devon's ceramic heritage. In days gone by, there were bottle shaped kilns lining the banks of the River Torridge and producing slipware and sgraffito pottery that was shipped all over the world.

Through Awards for All funding the Burton Art Gallery and Museum has been running the local community arts project Tales on Tiles, giving people the opportunity to explore and celebrate their local ceramic heritage.

Tiles from each community group will be mounted and displayed during the 13th Appledore Visual Arts Festival next June.

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