The Wedgwood Institute in Queen Street, Burslem ST6 3EG will be throwing open its doors to the public on Saturday 23rd July from 11am - 3pm for the Burslem & Wedgwood Institute Photo Marathon and Family Activity Day.
Whether professionals, amateurs or complete beginners photographers are invited to bring their cameras along and take part in the enormous Photo Marathon with the chance of winning first prize of 500 Euros worth of photography equipment in a Europe-wide photography competition.
Using the Wedgwood Institute and the Burslem Tile Trail photographers will be encouraged to explore the local buildings of Burslem and take photos of the beautiful tiles and terracotta displayed and then upload them on the day to instagram and hashtag them #ceramicsinarchitecturecomp with a message about the ceramics photographed.
The judges will be looking for photographs that raise questions or tell a story about the interaction and relationship between people and the architectural ceramics in their communities.
In addition to the prize money, first, second and third prize winners will have their photos included in a new book about the value and significance of architectural ceramics to communities in Europe.
Two of the judges of the European competition, which has been organised by the Ceramics and its Dimensions Project, are John Snowdon, Lecturer in Photo Journalism at Staffordshire University and Danny Callaghan, Project Leader for The Potteries Tile Trail and Ceramic City Stories:
"Stoke-on-Trent is a ceramic city. Our homes, churches, pubs and civic buildings are adorned with historic tiles, mosaics and architectural ceramics. You can help to share this wonderful heritage with the world by simply taking photographs of your favourite examples and entering this competition. Your images will be viewed and enjoyed by literally thousands of people. You might even win a substantial cash prize and have them feature in a special book. What's not to like?... get snapping!," said Danny.
A fascinating stop for photographers on The Potteries Tile Trail will be the Market Place Cafe to see its stunning doorstep. Artist Philip Hardaker was commissioned by Barewall Gallery to create a contemporary re-working of a tiled doorstep using a beautiful array of reclaimed historical encaustic tiles. Phil's unique ceramic creations can also be seen across the city, including 'Speaker's Corner' inside the old Town Hall, now the Haywood Academy.
During the day at the Wedgwood Institute there will be photography workshops and activities for the family, including a clay sculpting workshop run by the Jo Ayres and the British Ceramics Biennial.
As well as taking photographs, Sarah Richardson, Project Officer from The United Kingdom Historic Buildings Preservation Trust (UKHBPT) would like people to bring in any photographs they have of the Wedgwood Institute to contribute to UKHBPT's restoration of the Institute.
"Every photo is valuable to us in telling the story of the Wedgwood Institute. Please bring along any photos you have so we can take a copy and add them to our research into the building's history."
"But please also take the opportunity to look round the Institute and find out more about the restoration work that's going on," said Sarah.
UKHBT recently announced the design team to lead the restoration of the Wedgwood Institute. The design team's plans will go on display as part of a public consultation later this year.