Tag Archives: Manchester

Farewell to Cornbrook, Last Loft Artist Studio Group Moves On


I have loved working in my space at Last Loft Studios in Talbot Mill for the past 10 years or so. During my time here, various artists and makers have left the group to relocate across the globe and new artists have joined. The current mix is a vibrant and happy collective with a wide range of skills and experience, producing a fascinating and eclectic creative output. We have just exhibited within the mill as part of “A Grand Exposition“, an ambitious event organised by the guys on the 3rd Floor – Cornbrook Creative – in collaboration with Manchester Science Festival supported by the developers Capital and Centric, who have recently purchased the building for development.

Setting up the Last Loft exhibition at Talbot Mill’s “A Grand Exposition” event. In the foreground “Its Bark is Worse Than Its Bike” sculpture by Caroline Channing

Last Loft Studios was established by artist Liam Curtin in 2005. Liam was Manchester City Council’s first ever appointed artist-in-residence for the new Northern Quarter in 1994 and was instrumental to its early cultural development. He took on the 2nd Floor unit in Talbot Mill on Ellesmere Street for studio space in 2005. As Liam signed the contract for the Talbot Mill unit, I had just moved to a space in Wellington House in Ancoats, following almost two years renting a studio in the Northern Quarter. A year later, I left Wellington House to join Liam’s evolving new group.

Tracey Cartledge at work at Last Loft Studios, 2nd Floor, Talbot Mill, Ellesmere Street

The appeal of Talbot Mill was strong. It is very much part of Manchester’s powerful industrial heritage, just like other surviving mills and warehouses close to the Bridgewater Canal in Cornbrook. Including the mill where I had my first studio as a member of SIGMA – Sculptors in Greater Manchester Association, from 1991 to 2003, also on Ellesmere Street. The old SIGMA premises was in Terres Building, now an apartment block called Albert Mill owned by Urban Splash. For artists in Manchester, these run down mill spaces have proved ideal for studio space over the past 30 years. The rents have been affordable, the space and light is unparalleled, there is usually an antiquated goods lift and useful loading bay and the locations tend to be conveniently close to the city but outside expensive parking zones.

Exhibition Catalogues from SIGMA group shows at Bury Art Gallery and Stockport Art Gallery (1994)

SIGMA was set up in 1983 by a small group of recent fine art graduates to provide space specifically for sculptors in the North West Region, around the same time as their contemporaries set up MASA – Manchester Artist Studios Association. SIGMA received significant grant funding and the founding group of artists were well supported by the visual arts officer, Virginia Tandy, of what was then the North West Arts Board. Virginia continued to make regular visits to Manchester’s studio groups, providing useful advise and assistance about grant applications, studio administration etc. Later, the NWAB was absorbed into Arts Council England and Virginia Tandy went on to other roles including becoming director of Manchester City Art Gallery, overseeing its major expansion and refurbishment in 2002. (She was awarded an OBE for her services to the arts in 2009)

Recent workshop in my studio space at Last Loft Studios, Talbot Mill, with visiting Australian artist Marian Shapiro. October 2017

Last Loft Studios has operated independently without any form of subsidy or grant for the arts. It has simply acted to provide work space for artists at the lowest possible rent, nothing more and it has done this very well. However, other artists and artist groups came and took space in the building and in neighbouring buildings, continuing to build on the ‘buzzy’ creative community of Cornbrook that began with SIGMA and, just ahead of SIGMA, a small group of artists in a railway arch around the corner. One of these was friend and sculptor Adrian Moakes, who stayed there until he, too, was finally forced to move out only a couple of years ago. Some of these creatives came together to celebrate their time in Cornbrook in the three day event that also served as a fond farewell for us as we get squeezed out by the rapid surge of development in the vicinity of Ellesmere Street.

So, it’s time to move on again. The artists of Last Loft Studios are hoping to move together in the new year…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Get Fired Up for 2015


We all love fire

We all love fire

Elegant, British designed and made spun steel fire bowls to bring some Pagan passion to all your summer parties. Now you can stay toasty warm outdoors long after the sun goes down.

Spun Steel Fire Bowl

Spun Steel Fire Bowl by Paul Wigley, Manchester

Our gorgeous big fire bowl creates a stylish focal point for outdoor entertaining, as well as a great source of warmth and light on chilly evenings. Designed in Manchester by my talented husband, Paul Wigley and available from my main website.

Roll on 2015…


What an interesting, varied and fantastic year 2014 proved to be for Tracey Cartledge Limited!

Highlights included creating a landmark sculpture outside the Weaver Hall Museum in Northwich…

IMG_0178IMG_0146IMG_0125

…making and installing part two of the Longford Park pavement mosaic features…

Longford Park Part Two The People's Park 2012

Longford Park Part Two, The People’s Park 2012

Longford Park Mosaic Part Two, The People's park 2012

Longford Park Part Two, The People’s Park 2012

Longford Park Part Two, The People's Park 2012

Longford Park Part Two, The People’s Park 2012

Longford Park Part Two, The People's Park 2012

Longford Park Part Two, The People’s Park 2012

…the contract to repair the mosaic floors at Victoria Station, Manchester…

Checking Test Panel on Site

Checking Test Panel on Site

Checking Patterns

Working from the patterns taken on site

Victoria Station work in progress

Making up sections of replacement mosaic in the studio

Ready to install section opus circulatum

Installation of replacement sections of mosaic floor

Installed section opus circulatum

The above section of mosaic installed into the existing floor

…and my first work selected to represent the UK at the Rencontres Internationales de Mosaique exhibition in Chartres…

"Fall"

“Fall”

So, I’m hoping that this time next year there will have been more challenges and interesting projects to report!

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog.

Roman Mosaic Masterclass with Lawrence Payne, £85


Fish out of Water

Fish out of Water

Saturday 1st March 10.00am – 4.00pm

Chorlton Central Church, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester

“Roman Mosaics” masterclass with LAWRENCE PAYNE at Chorlton Central Community Centre, Chorlton, Manchester.

This workshop will cover both figural and geometric mosaics including the principles used in both forms. All the work will be done using pre cut marble and other hard stones from which you will cut shapes with nippers. (All tools provided)

Taken from and example seen in Ravenna, Italy. You can also see this pattern in The Church of The Nativity, Bethlehem.

Taken from and example seen in Ravenna, Italy. You can also see this pattern in The Church of The Nativity, Bethlehem.

The price includes all materials plus a laminated crib card of The Rules and refreshments.

Suitable for complete beginners, intermediates and those with more experience looking for expert guidance in developing their technique to a higher level. Understand the principles of how ancient Roman mosaics were designed and created, get familiar with the ‘Roman Rules’ and have a go yourself in this informative and practical session under Lawrence’s supervision.

You will learn how to speed up and maintain momentum in your approach to mosaic, at whatever level you are currently working. There’s always a lively and friendly atmosphere at these workshops too.

BOOK HERE: ROMAN MOSAIC WORKSHOP

Buy Original Mosaic Work Online!!


For the first time, I have included two of my recent works for sale on the website!! I’m interested to find out if people would prefer to purchase work in this way……

The website has attracted lots of customers looking for good quality mosaic kits and a lot of people interested in commissioning either bespoke kits or bespoke finished works. Now there’s another option. You can buy a Tracey Cartledge mosaic.

Small Tortoiseshell Mosaic by Tracey Cartledge

Small Tortoiseshell Mosaic by Tracey Cartledge

To start with, I have put up two of the pieces from our recent exhibition: Small Tortoiseshell and Rubro Oculo Mancunian Operarius. If you have any comments or feedback, I’d love to hear from you please!!

Christmas Gift Idea: Roman Mosaics Masterclass March 2014!!!


Last February, we had the great pleasure of welcoming Lawrence Payne to Manchester to host a wonderful one day workshop teaching the art and the science (well, the theory to be more specific) behind Roman Mosaics.

Roman Mosaics Workshop with Lawrence Payne

Roman Mosaics Workshop with Lawrence Payne

I’m delighted to announce that he will be making a return guest appearance and has agreed to host a workshop for us again in Chorlton – at our usual evening class venue, Chorlton Central – next March.

This workshop will be suitable for complete beginners and for returning students looking to improve to the next level.

I have made the booking available today so that you have the opportunity to give the nudge to somebody who’s trying to find the ideal gift for you this Christmas!!!

Look no further: BUY ROMAN WORKSHOP GIFT HERE!!!!

Manchester Mosaic Winners


We did it AGAIN!!!!

Sheenaanne receiving her certificate at Topps Tiles Salford

Sheenaanne receiving her certificate at Topps Tiles Salford

Topps Tile Mosaic Competition Winners

Tracey (me!) receiving the £300 voucher to spend on materials for the Chorlton Mosaic Group

For the second year running, my mosaic evening class in Chorlton, Manchester has produced the North West regional finalist for the Topps Tiles Award for Achievement in Mosaic. Our winner this year is Sheenaanne with her ambitious outdoor mosaic dining table, entitled “Fortunate Dining”.

Fortunate Dining by Sheenaanne Law

Fortunate Dining by Sheenaanne Law

Fortunate, indeed. Sheenaanne receives a certificate of achievement and a prize of £100 voucher to spend on mosaic supplies at Topps Tiles. As her teacher, I receive a voucher for £300 to spend on materials for the class, which will boost our resources again!!

Judge David Tuhill (RCA), selected this entry reporting “The blue water shimmers, the border with the many luminous circles echoes the white fishes which are so very artistically rendered…..a tremendously skilful piece of work merits you the first prize Sheenaanne”

Peaceful Chui by Sheenaanne Law

Peaceful Chui by Sheenaanne Law

Other entries in the class portfolio included Sheenaanne’s “Peaceful Chui”, Christine Hyde’s abstract “Glacial Fragmentation”, Susie Wakefield’s colourful “Tutti Frutti”, Sue Glenn’s “Summer” and Mary Pye’s delightful “Apricot Tree”.

Apricot Tree by Mary Pye photo Tom Spawton

Apricot Tree by Mary Pye, photo Tom Spawton

“Apricot Tree” was inspired by a nursery song. Mary has created a lovely stylised Apricot Tree in this mosaic table stand.

Glacial Fragmentation, photo Tom Spawton

Glacial Fragmentation by Christine Hyde, photo Tom Spawton

All of these received excellent comments from David and demonstrate the imagination and variety of work that is made in our weekly Thursday evening class – a great place to enjoy the company of fellow mosaic enthusiasts and find creative inspiration.

Tutti Frutti by Susie Wakefield, photo Tom Spawton

Tutti Frutti by Susie Wakefield, photo Tom Spawton

Tutti Frutti was Susie’s first piece of mosaic work. I love the harmony of blues and the rectilinear composition, interrupted with the contrasting red tesserae.

Summer by Sue Glenn, photo Tom Spawton

Summer by Sue Glenn, photo Tom Spawton

If you have been inspired by Sheenaanne’s lovely work and fancy making a mosaic table, you can buy a kit here or contact me to enquire about the next Mosaic Tables workshop. For details of the class in Chorlton, click here.

Thank you Topps Tiles!!!