Memories of a summer’s day, collecting beautiful pieces of broken pottery, tumbled by the river for years, in a little Lancashire town…

 The Mudlark

Beautiful, Reclaimed, River Pottery Pieces

The term ‘Mudlark’ was used for those poor unfortunates in the late 18th and 19th centuries, who would scavenge the shores of the River Thames at low tide, for anything of value that could be sold.

Since my children were small, on our daily walks, we would go down to the River Irwell in Lancashire and collect beautiful pieces of patterned pottery washed up on the banks. Each one different, each exquisite and each with its own story to tell. Tumbled by the river for over a hundred years, their edges worn smooth from their watery journey, colours faded and cracked.

I am fascinated with how these little jewels made their way into the river and where their journey has taken them. Who last held the teacup that once was, before it found its way into the murky depths? Secrets only told to the river bed.

My work aims to take these little fragments that time and tide have created and return them, once again, into a thing of beauty, to bring back to life that which was discarded many years ago.