Fired Thoughts Ceramic Arts Studio and Gallery
At Fired Thoughts, resident artists Sue Whelan and Geraldine Francis welcome visitors to come and buy original handmade work direct from the makers. If you cannot find what you are looking for then you can commission Fired Thoughts to make it.
Fired Thoughts offer courses and workshops for those that would like to be creative. The Open studio on a Saturday allows a flexible way to come and have a go at working with clay, by the hour and for as long as you want.
Fired Thoughts also offer the opportunity for you to hold your own individual designed party from ages 6yrs and up what ever the occasion, be it a birthday, hen party or family get together.
Fired Thoughts Ceramic Arts Studio is a registered Arts Award centre and offers recognised qualifications for 6yrs – 25yrs.
Ceramic and Mixed Media Artist
Sue is an artist who works in ceramics and incorporates an array of other materials within her work. She draws inspiration from the qualities of skin and how it protects the human body. Sue is interested in expressing these textures by accentuating the cracks, folds and qualities that could be interpreted as “imperfections”. Sue is also inspired by the textures found within the landscape.
Having worked as a Laboratory Manager for Cereal Quality Testing and a qualified Wheat Purification Officer in Cambridge, Sue re-discovered her passion for art and textiles when she moved back to Wiltshire, making and selling handmade felt hats, bags, scarfs and 3D felt sculpture at local markets in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Markets.
As a late returner to education in 2004, Sue completed an Access to Art at Swindon College, and then continued with a HND in 3D Design, specialising in Ceramics, where she won Best in Show, and presented HRH Duchess of Cornwall with a piece of her work at the opening of the new Swindon College Complex. Sue completed her BA Hons in Contemporary Applied Arts at Hereford Art College, and exhibited at New Designs in London, Croatia, Italy, as well London and regional UK Galleries. During her time in education, Sue continued working in local schools with mixed abilities, where she offered workshops and after school art clubs.
As a tutor of Art and Design at HMP Erlestoke, Sue continued her passion for sharing creative art with a “you can, if only you try” approach, which helped to inspired many talented individuals recognize their artistic potential. Sadly, in 2012 the funding was cut for all Art courses at the prison, so Sue moved her studio from home to Woodborough where she and Geri decided to go into partnership as Fired Thoughts. They moved studios and gallery from Woodborough to Lydeway in 2014, giving them the opportunity of combining an artist’s studio, a space to deliver courses, and a Gallery shop to sell their work.
Ceramic Artist and Sculptor
Geraldine is an artist who works with ceramics, concentrating mostly on sculpture with a bird and animal theme but also inspired by the Wiltshire landscape.
Trained at Epsom and Exeter Schools of Art in the 1980’s and gaining a BA.Hons in Fine Art (ceramics), Geraldine’s early career took her to Wales, where she spent time as an artist in residence in special schools, delivering art sessions and projects for children in special secondary education. She worked alongside teachers to design projects and also ran workshops on working with clay in the classroom.
Geraldine continued to work as a community artists throughout the 1990’s and in 1996 after completing a Montessori diploma in early years, opened her own Montessori school. The school developed a strong creative ethos and aspects of the Reggio Emilia philosophy were introduced to the school.
In 2005 she relocated to Wiltshire from Devon and worked on the Participatory Arts Workshops sponsored by Wiltshire Council, working with a variety of groups including W.I’s, schools, youth groups, residential homes and nurseries, producing group murals as well as helping people achieve personal projects.
Geraldine is a trained Arts Adviser for The Arts Award, a nationally recognised qualification in the arts sponsored by the Arts Council.
Although she spends much of her time designing and delivering arts projects Geraldine also works in the studio and continues to develop her own practice as an artist. She shows and sells throughout the country and has her work in a number of collections.