Makers’ Tale

Makers’ Tale exhibition is the result of the collaboration between Wiltshire Creative and The University for the Creative Arts Farnham in association with the Salisbury Cathedral.

Initially intended for the Salisbury International Arts Festival 2020 Makers’ Tale exhibition was produced in the first lockdown virtually in the form of an online panel discussion and exhibition catalogue. Now finally installed at Salisbury Arts Centre, this exhibition explores the themes of the movement of ideas between disciplines, the relationships which arise from disciplinary crossovers, and the passing and advancement of skills. Through creative media such as sculpture, light work, textiles, music, ceramic, metal, and sound Makers’ Tale highlights the persistence of craft knowledge within the context of modern creative industries.

The exhibition artists are Hermione Thomson (textiles), Peta Jacobs (textiles), Manuela Kagerbauer (metal), Michelle Shields (ceramics) and Cara Wassenberg (glass and metal) and composer Dr Harry Whalley together with composer Akira Sileas and Cellist Anna Menzies.

The exhibition further includes the work by recent UCA graduates Charlotte Bull, Wendy Irving, Lizzie Lovell, Katie Sims, Eleanor Cocking and Jamie Dunlop Valentine created in response to behind the scenes visit to Salisbury Cathedral in January 2020.

 Diana Harrison, UCA Senior Lecturer Textiles said: ‘This is a particularly important experience for our international students, for whom witnessing hidden sites of the Cathedral is a unique insight into our culture.’

Makers’ Tale exhibition curators Loucia Manopoulou (PhD UCA candidate), and Mirka Golden-Hann, Head of Visual Arts at Wiltshire Creative have been invited to present an exhibition paper at an online international symposium organized by Applied Arts Scotland; Identity, Collaboration and Sustainability: festival of craft in September 27th, 28th, and 29th.

Exhibition’s curator Loucia Manopoulou said: Makers’ Tale and its storytellers communicate a continuum of life and craft making. Space, place, collaboration and the making process become visible and audible within the exhibition. It is a credit to the makers’ abilities as storytellers that we can picture the movement of ideas, of making and the transfer of knowledge.”

This exhibition also includes an associated educational programme consisting of an Audio Research Cluster – Sound in Spaces seminar With Dr James Armstrong and Dr Harry Whalley on 20 October and Eco-Resin mixed media making workshop with the exhibition artist Hermione Thomson on 16 Ocober.

Makers’ Tale exhibition runs at Salisbury Arts Centre from 14th September to 30thOctober 2021.

The Exhibition Associated Programme:

Exhibition catalogue and panel discussion producied in May 2020

Monday 27 – Thursday 30 September 2021

Old Stories, New Narratives Symposium

a strand of Identity, Collaboration, Sustainability: an online, international festival of craft

Audio Research Cluster Talk with Dr James Armstrong

Eco – Resin Workshop with Hermione Thomson

Wiltshire Creative Summer Open 2021

Celebrating Creativity in Salisbury and Southwest

Wiltshire Creative – SUMMER OPEN EXHIBITION 2021

Picture This & Small Pictures 

Dates: 13 July – 4 September 2021 at Salisbury Arts Centre

Based in the City of Salisbury, Wiltshire Creative draws audiences from across the county and beyond. As part of the Visual Arts programme which I curate, each summer we seek to showcase work that has been created locally. Building on the success of our previous Summer Open Exhibitions, we are once more providing a platform for the great variety of talent which flourishes in and around the county of Wiltshire.

After the difficult year we have had Wiltshire Creative has decided to approach our Summer Open Exhibition slightly differently. Over the past year we have had to cancel many exhibitions whilst being aware of the huge surge of lockdown creativity. Our two-part Summer Open Exhibition 2021 addresses this by providing a platform for artists at all stages of their creative careers. This year’s exhibition will offer the chance to see a variety of photographic styles in ‘Picture This’, as well as myriad media and approaches presented in ‘Small Pictures’. Artworks in this exhibition will be available to purchase.

Picture This’ is a selection of works created by the members of Salisbury Photography Club. This exhibition was originally planned for January and presents 54 works by club members as an exploration of many photographic genres, with the aim of showcasing photography as an important art form.  This exhibition was selected by Tony Oliver ARPS CPAGB BPE4*, Dr Jane Osbourne LRPS and Mirka Golden-Hann. We are very pleased to be able to share it with you now.

‘Small Pictures’ presents a kaleidoscope of creativity responding to the open call out to all South West based artists. You can expect to see painting, drawing, photography, textiles, wood, mixed-media, ceramics, and more all presented within a maximum frame size of 25cmx35cm. This exhibition introduces 126 pieces which were selected from 215 submitted entries by Jonathan Mansfield – Artist, Painter and Deputy Director of Pound Arts, Corsham, Megan Smith –Artist and Young Arts Voice, and Sally Firino – Artist, Head of Art Department at Burgate School and A legendary art teacher.

Artist Elizabeth Hammond said: “Thank you so much for accepting my work for the upcoming exhibition, this has made my day!”

This year we have two artists’ prizes: the winner of the Memory Fine Art Prize will receive £200 and an opportunity to exhibit at Memory Fine Art Gallery, Salisbury. This prize is decided by the public vote.

The winner of the Noble Arts Prize will be selected by Sharon Noble of Noble Arts Supplies and will be awarded to the best under 25’s entry.

Salisbury Arts Centre is Open Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 3pm and we are very much looking forward to seeing you there.

Arts Centre is open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 3pm at Salisbury Arts Centre, Bedwin Street, Salisbury, SP1 3UT

Exhibition Insight video can be seen here:

Visiting the International Ceramics Festival at Aberystwyth

International Ceramics Festival Aberystwyth (ICF)
by Mirka Golden-Hann

Please note – you can see and buy my work at the Salisbury Cathedral Contemporary Crafts event 8th 9th September held in the cloisters.

During the weekend of 30th June – 2nd July I was very fortunate to be sent by the Arts Centre to attend the legendary Aberystwyth Ceramics Festival. Never having had the chance to attend, either as a student or during my 18 years as a practicing ceramicist, I was very excited finally to be able to go and am now buzzing with a positive charge which I am eager to share.

The ICF was founded in 1987 as a pottery camp and was the first festival to invite international artists. Since then the festival, which runs biennially, has grown in its ambition as well as audience numbers.

The programme is spread out over the site of the Aberystwyth Arts Centre. Throughout the event kilns are built and fired outside the building. On Saturday and Sunday demonstrations by two artists side by side are happening in the Great Hall. At the same time two lectures are on the go in the theatre and the cinema.

Here is an account of all the events I witnessed.


Talk by Taille Maughan the founder of ‘Turning Earth’ in London was the first event I attended. Turning Earth is a very successful venture operating two large open access ceramic studios. They offer not only regular classes but also a gym-like untutored membership scheme for their more experienced regular members. It was encouraging to see all the facts and figures as well as the importance of social media in starting up. The underlying tone of this talk was the emphasis on the inner wellness of an individual engaged in creative endeavor. As an artist and a pottery teacher with years of experience I am fully in one with this.
“Letting IKEA make our cups is a waste of human spirit.” quote for the talk

Practical demos by
Ostinelli &Priest sculpted a bull using an interesting armature made of hardboard, thin sticks and bubble wrap which was left within the sculpture to be burned out later in the firing. This is an interesting technique which would have to be practiced in a very well ventilated studio.
Zahed Taj Eddin (Syria) who recently completed a Phd focusing on research into Egyptian Faience at Harrow (University of Westminster) presented the preparation of Egyptian Faience and a technique using a terracotta mould in order to work with this quite wilful material, neither clay nor glass, upon which the glaze surface is produced process called efflorescence. Many years ago I ran an Egyptian Faience workshop at the Arts Centre. I feel that the time has come to repeat this.

Lecture by father of modern kiln building Fred Olsen (USA) was one the highlights of the weekend. Fred Olsen who studied in Japan in the 60s from the national treasure pottery masters and in 1973 wrote the famous ‘Kiln Book’, a bible for all potters who ever built their own kiln, was giving an account of his working life. This was a fascinating talk of adventure, experience and innovation. It was also breathtaking to see a large on-site built kiln which was constructed by Olsen to fire Alexandra Engelfriet’s clay form.

Talk by English slipware potter Paul Young revealed motives, many secrets and serious struggles of a today’s potter’s life.

Paul’s was a gentle talk before attending the PhD seminar presentation and discussion led by Dr. Jo Dahn discussing current variables within ceramics PhD research paths. The speakers included Jill Echlin currently studying recent Iranian ceramics. Dr. Leah Mc Laughlin in conversation about her study and the way of applying the research skill set in different areas of working life with Professor Jeff Jones who was her PhD supervisor.
Syrian artist and researcher Zahed Taj Eddin about his technical research and subsequently the creative application of that research.
Pippa Galpin whose PhD was solely directed by her practice and the study of the haptic experience, highlighting the limitations of written and spoken language used in describing sensual experiences.

My head was full of this inspiring seminar as I attended a spine shivering talk by Dutch artist Alexandra Engelfriet describing her relationship with her work and with clay as a tacit knowledge acquired through engagement with the material. She began to use clay in order to fulfill her interest in manipulating spaces. She talked about the states of mind she entered as she creates her large installations with tens of tons go clay. Sometimes using naturally occurring clay such as her work in the mud plains of Holland. Sometimes she works within a room or a landscape with the material brought in. The uncompromising physicality of her work is both uncomfortable and awe inspiring. She describes her state of mind being that of a trance and the making of her work resonates at once the act of birthing and the act of perishing.

Alexandra created a piece in Aberystwyth during the days leading up to the beginning of the festival and during the festival a kiln was constructed by Fred Olsen to fire the piece. (picture above) This was one of several kilns fired during the weekend. In the night there were three very different kilns glowing in the dark. The second kiln also constructed by Fred Olsen was firing Sabine Classes sculpture and the third kiln was an ingenious and hugely entertaining newspaper kiln burning charcoal and coal, fired with the assistance of 16 hairdryers constructed by Chisato Kuroki.


I started my Sunday with professor Simon Olding’s lecture ‘The Leach Pottery – The Discourse of Pots in Place’
This was a beautifully presented talk about the beginnings, the motivations, inspirations and obstacles of one of Britain’s most prominent founders of studio pottery. Bernard Leach is often presented with the status of an icon. As a consequence to myself a maker who has always struggled with authority of any kind as well as trying to subvert and embrace historical context of ceramic practice simultaneously, the figure of Bernard Leach has always presented a challenge. Simon Olding”s talk unveiled the humanity of the St.Ives venture and managed to erode much of my recalcitrance.

Practical demonstrations by David Frith and Harm van der Zeeuw (Netherlands) was my next event. It was interesting to witness David Frith working on large scale pots and to see his section joining technique which is different to mine. Harm van der Zeeuw was creating his collage-like vessels using different types of clays.

The importance of an empty space was discussed as well as preformed by the whole audience joining in a lemniscatory dance routine during the talk by German sculptor Sabine Classen. Her large scale sculpture fired during the festival was later unpacked from the kiln or rather the kiln was unfolded to reveal the sculpture within.

Huang Fei (China) and Antonella Cimatti (Italy) were demonstrating their skills in the great hall. I was mostly curious to see Huang Fei’s modern slant on the traditional blue on porcelain Chinese painting technique. It was very interesting to see Huang Fei covering a large slab of clay with water and then leaving blotches of cobalt to disperse into it thus creating the background for a lotus flower. Much to my surprise I have however found myself covering a whole page of notes about Cimatti’s paper clay pipetting techniques and slip casting which was breathtaking to witness.

The talk by Chisato Kuroki was yet another gem of an experience. The Japanese artist who is based in Spain is someone who brings elements of performance and audience participation to experimental kiln construction. Her projects include the coiling of a tea house for up to six people and then firing it in a straw bale kiln over three days, as well as building a high temperature newspaper kiln which was created and fired on site. I have an ambition now to try something similar in Salisbury.

The last demo of the weekend was a pair of clay sculptresses Anabeli Diaz (Mexico/Sweden) and Gerit Grimm (Germany/USA). They demonstrated two very different clay sculpting methods, both of which are traditionally associated with the forming of vessels. Anabeli coils large scale sculptures of figures and heads, drawing her inspiration from the myths and legends she grew up with. She uses very coarse clay and very simple tools such as the middle section of a corn (soon to be introduced into the pottery) which she masterfully applied as a rolling pin and a smoothing tool at the same time. Merit Grimm on the other hand sculpts figures from wheel thrown compartments which are then assembled with added hand-built elements. Her work is very much informed by the work of the late Hungarian artist Margit Kovacs.

Needles to say the weekend was a concentrated learning experience amidst the meeting of kindred spirits. As a ceramics teacher I will be referencing the knowledge I have gained during the few days for years to come as a maker I am inspired by the first hand encounter with the breadth of the current ceramic practice.

I am hoping that Salisbury Arts Centre will publish this account accompanied with my pictures on the SAC website news one day soon.

If you are curious to see what is happening in the Arts Centre’s pottery studio please join us on Instagram – salisburyartspottery Thank you

Salisbury Contemporary Craft – Salisbury Cathedral

I will be exhibiting my latest work at Salisbury Contemporary Craft show held at Salisbury Cathedral Cloisters on Friday 8th September and Saturday 9th September.

For more info please visit

Next term pottery classes enrollment date 7. August

The enrollment for next term pottery classes (all ages) starts on 7th August on the Salisbury Arts Centre website.
From 8. August you can book from the box office.
Please note the classes are very popular and sell out fast.

Glaze and fire lecture

10 June 2017 2pm
Glaze and fire lecture at Salisbury Arts Centre.
Main topic – ceramic change.

Pre-Christmas Collections


Pottery will be open for Pre-Christmas collections on

Thursday 19.December 6.00-7.00pm


Friday 20.December 9.30-11.00am

Please make sure that you come to collect your work during these sessions.

If you cannot then give me a ring at the earliest opportunity on 01722 34 30 34.

I will not be in the workshop after midday 20.December and the Pottery will not be open again until the New Year. 

See you all soon


Electric Kiln Workshop at Salisbury Arts Centre 2.11. 2013


Session1  2.11.2013   10.30 – 12.30     Talk

Introduction to firing an electric kiln for ceramics
This workshop is intended to enable people to fire an electric kiln with confidence and with  an understanding of the process.

During this talk Mirka Golden-Hann will explain basics of how to use an electric kiln. Topics covered include the control, the packing and firing of biscuit (first firing), and earthenware/stoneware glazes. General kiln care and health and safety issues will be covered too. The presentation will also demonstrate various decorating effects which can be achieved in the electric kiln.

Session2   2.11.2013   13.00-16.00   Practical

Introduction to glazes for the electric kiln

Practical workshop to cover glazing basics for the electric kiln. Students will conduct practical experiments under supervision: for some this will be an introduction to glazes, for others a furtherance of existing knowledge. Practical demonstrations will include working with commercial glazes, stains, underglazes, overglazes and transfer application. There will also be a demonstration of mixing glazes to a recipe. Furthermore participants will have the chance to make tests of brand new glazes for both stoneware and earthenware temperatures.

Please bring dust masks if you already own one, a pair of surgical gloves, and if you wish to test lustres or specialist glazes please get in touch prior to the workshop.

Session 3   16.11.2013


Assessment of glaze test results from the glaze testing session.


If you have any questions regarding this course please contact me on or at the studio on 01722 34 30 34

To book this course please ring Salisbury Arts Centre Box Office on 01722 321744 or visit

Tickets: £40 or ( £5 session one only)


Autumn Craft Collection at New Ashgate Gallery, Farnham

Exhibition dates: 30 August – 9 November 2013


Salisbury Art Trail 5-13 October 2013

Open studio -opportunity to see and buy my work inside my creative space.

Studio address:   Pottery Studio at Salisbury Arts Centre, Bedwin St.,  Salisbury, SP1 3UT

Open to public  10am-3pm.

Please note there are regular classes running in the studio during this week.



I will be exhibiting my latest work at the fantastic ART IN ACTION, an opportunity to see some of the country’s finest makers across many disciplines

Waterperry House near Oxford

18 – 21 July

You will be able to find me in the Teachers’ Exhibition tent

and for further info please visit


Homegrown exhibition ‘Heroic in the Everyday’  featuring Salisbury Arts Centre’s talent is nearly set up just a few finishing touches before the PV on Friday 5.July at 5.30.

I am particularly excited and scared about “Heeled and Knuckled” dance piece which is a collaboration between myself, with the great help of some of my youth pottery participants, and Carrie Madgwick and Jigsaw and Seesaw dance companies. This piece combines the disciplines of contemporary dance, ceramics installation and film in order to bring about a piece which merges the concepts of a time specific work with that of a permanent artefact.

Some of the dance will be performed on 5 July over an area of clay capturing each imprint of the dance as imparted into the surface of the pliable material. Clay here acts as an uncompromising chronicler. Reminiscent of the anonymity of footprints left on a muddy byway, perhaps by pilgrims and ramblers. This clay will then be left to dry and fired only to be reassembled again on 31 July as a piece of ceramic and film floor installation. Thank you to Tom Sneddon and Filmakers for making the film and Ellie who mixed the music.


My next firing is scheduled for 10 July the kiln will be unpacked for Art in Action on the 13th. Students can come to collect work on the 13 July between 11 and 12 am.