Externalising the Archive



Venue details
The Spode Museum, Elenora St
Find out more
  • Visiting information
  • Wednesday to Sunday from 10:30am-4pm

Neil Brownsword leads a multidisciplinary team of artists in creating this ambitious, large-scale and closely researched installation on the Spode Works site, with an adjunct digital laboratory space within the Spode Museum Trust Heritage Centre. Focussing on the former Spode factory’s plaster moulds, of which there are approximately 70,000 still located on the site, Brownsword reveals the intricacies of these complex heritage assets for public scrutiny.

This multi-faceted project brings together a diverse range of artistic interventions and digital mediations made in response to the former Spode factory’s archives and production histories. Brownsword explores the sites mould collections through a series of installations that intersect the external spaces of the factory. Brownsword re-evaluates the human ingenuity and dexterity held within these tools of mass production in an attempt to draw greater awareness to their future preservation.

Brownsword has also initiated the digital scanning of Spode’s remaining mould stores to offer a virtual reality experience for visitors to navigate their way into buildings and spaces that remain currently inaccessible.

The project has been kindly supported by ACAVA Studios, Spode Museum Trust, m² Gallery, EMRYS, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Staffordshire University, University of Bergen.


Additional Activity

Drop-in activity with Spode Moulds
10am – 5pm every day throughout the festival

Head to the Spode Museum Trust Heritage Centre and create your own 3D relief using replica sprig moulds from the Spode Museum Trust archive.


Photogrammetry Demonstrations
10am – 4pm Every Wed, Fri, Sat & Sun throughout the festival

Spode Museum Trust Heritage Centre will stage an on-going live research lab which explores the use of new technologies to create 3D digital surrogates in support of the preservation of the former Spode Factory’s collection of Historic Moulds. These will include photogrammetry a method used in the accurate 3D reconstruction of physical objects and environments.


Follow the link to explores the sites’ mould collections and navigate into buildings and spaces that remain currently inaccessible.