Email to Norman Taylor, Pinxton Parish council
I am a contemporary artist currently studying an MA. I am a painter however most recently I have been working with ceramics. I was born and brought up in Pinxton but I am currently living in Norfolk and run a ceramics studio with my wife. I began 'potting' around five years ago and have learnt 'part time' to throw . You may have heard through the village grapevine that I was interested in contacting you already with regards to Pinxton Porcelain, its history and location. There are many aspects about the pottery I am interested in. Very little information about the pottery was common knowledge when I was growing up and very few people in the village I have spoken to about it know of it or have any interest which I find appalling! I am interested in raising the profile and awareness about the pottery but I will come to that later.
Firstly, where was its location? I went searching for its location based on the information I could find on the internet and assumed that part of the site was located in the grounds of the property at the very end of mill lane. There was a building made up partly of a stone structure in the grounds (lorry repairs?)
Secondly, I have brought back to Norfolk samples of clay and used them in my own work as slips so far. I am interested in my relationship with location, landscape and memory. However, I am aware that the pottery worked in porcelain, where was it sourced? Was it mixed with other ingredients?
Would you be able to tell me anymore about John Coke and William Billingsley? The relationship to Brookhill hall? ( I lived on Woodfield road and Brookhill avenue)
Obviously I have been to the V&A to see their collection too.
Any information you could let me know would be gratefully received.
In so far as peoples awareness, I thought it would be nice to have a piece of public art either at the site or in the locality.I had thoughts about something to sit at Hawley's pond ideally, or in Macarther Glen due to its draw on the public.
I am already working on a piece for the MA that should stand around 7-8ft and is based on rock core samples ( I know its a long way from fine porcelain). However, I am making references in this work to Pinxton pottery by using the local clay in Derbyshire and clay here in Norfolk, I am considering ideas about my own history and family history , so in a sense the work is a self portrait. But the work is about workmen, mining, local coal industries and family relationships. I don't know if this might be suitable or not, or if what I am working on could lead to something which is. I just thought it might be a good opportunity for the area and obviously for myself. So you see for me it's strange how I have personally come full circle, having moved away , to then find things out about my roots which I am involved in now! Obviously this work would have an information plate to explain what it is and why it's located where it is.
As far as the public art is concerned I would be interested to hear your thoughts. Having moved away, its hard to gauge its suitability as an idea. I am also aware you are involved in the council, so if you have any idea about who I might need to discuss this with in terms of permissions and funding that would also be beneficial to me. This is very early days in terms of coming to a final idea and I would be happy to keep you informed of any progress I make.