ART-efact Exhibition

Creative Studio

This week’s blog is about a local upcoming exhibition and the involvement of two local artists, who presented workshops in the lead-up to the ART-efact Exhibition, for our members at Designs in Mind.

First, we had Paul Bohanna for two weeks running, teaching us various techniques, and talking about the very interesting history of Ceramics. We were all gingerly passing around some old broken pieces he has in his collection, some of these pieces were 3000 years old!

Paul brought along some of his wonderful creations too, which were beautifully detailed. You can take a look at his work via his website:

In week one with Paul, we learnt techniques such as using slip, sgraffito, sprigs, mocha ware and lettering blocks. We practised these effects onto clay slabs hand rolled ourselves.

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The following week we used templates Paul had made for us, to make various shapes to put together as a wind chime.

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We added our favourite techniques we’d learnt previously.

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Everyone who attended loved the workshop Paul created and presented to us, it was lots of fun and great to learn something new.

I asked Paul to share how he felt about working alongside our members and presenting his workshop, he wrote:

“I seriously enjoyed doing the workshops, really good people and I felt right at home. I came away with really positive feelings about it all, and I learned loads too!

I also came away with many more ideas about how to develop the themes further. Although the first workshop wasn’t intended to produce actual pots, I was really impressed with the diversity of responses and the beautiful ‘slabs’ (plaques) that were produced. I hope everyone got something positive from it.”

We thank Paul for his time and for such a great workshop, we all definitely got positive feedback about it.

We then had along Joseph’s Schneider presenting his Workshop, which also went down very well. I’ll share Joseph’s words about how he came up with the idea, as he explains it so well: “This workshop came about because I was walking around taking photos of Oswestry town, making a slideshow and I just kept thinking about who leaves their mark on the town. One of the things I was thinking about and looking at, was existing public art around the town. This led me on to look at the empty walls and possible sites for murals. I have done work before, both solo and in groups, where we would work on photos of spaces to create a speculative work of art. This seemed like a great idea for this workshop as well! I love how it means you can imagine you are working on a huge scale even though it is just a smallish piece of paper.”

Our members who attended Joseph’s Workshop really love the theme, had fun with and enjoyed the theme. We created with various mediums on our “blank space” printed piece that were black and white enlarged copies of the photos Joseph had taken. There were collage, painting and pens used to create our own murals on those spaces that many of us recognised from our local town. It was liberating to graffiti without the guilt!


I asked Joseph what he thought of our members creations from his workshop brief? He shared: “I loved the variety of images that emerged from the workshop and look forward to including some in the exhibition!”


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I also enquired on how Joseph felt his workshop went, for example if he enjoyed it as much as we did? Joseph gave a rather modest reply:”I did enjoy it as much as you appeared to!”

We certainly did Joseph and we thank you for your time and input. You can check out more about Joseph via his website:

These Designs in Mind, local artist led workshops, as I mention earlier are linked to the free ART-efact Exhibition which is open from Saturday 9th September to Sunday 17th September 2023, at Shropshire Cycle Hub, The Cross Market, Oswestry.

As Joseph mentioned some of pieces will be included alongside Joseph’s paintings and Paul’s Ceramics. There are two other local artists displaying their work, namely Jean Atkin and our very own studio artist and staff member, Emma Cummings.

I’m personally looking forward to.this event, especially as I’ve met three of the artists involved!

I recently got to know Joseph Schneider during a day of sitting….well actually lying down with my dog Oscar in Cae Glas Park. You may have seen his call out on social media page ‘Ask Oswestry’ looking for local people to pose. He shared his painting “Jackie Car Park in the post. I saw it and thought yes I’d love to be part of that!

And came to be!

It was a very interesting experience for me and Oscar, as I’m undiagnosed ADHD and Oscar’s fearful of new people! So it could have been a bit difficult, however Joseph put us at ease, instantly!

Oscar became trusting with Joseph pretty soon into our day, while I coined a new phrase of feeling “comfortably agitated”, due to attempting to be still from 11am to around 3pm! I was pleased with the painting Joseph produced and hopefully it will make it as one featured in the exhibition! You won’t miss it, as I gave Joseph quite a task with my stripey blanket and animal print ensemble!

You too, like me may be wondering what inspired the ART-efact Exhibition?

Joseph shared with me: “It is the culmination of the residency that was developed by Holly Maries with support from the Heritage Action Zone. There was an open call for artists to respond to the museum and town council archive.”

I hope you’ll pop.along and attend to support out local artists. Maybe I’ll see you there! Or maybe you’ll see me there laying in the picture, looking “comfortably agitated”!

Blog Written & researched by Willow, Member & Social Media Coordinator