Stoke Makes Plates

Stoke Makes Plates connects local communities with the heritage of Stoke-on-Trent’s high street.



Stoke Makes Plates is a heritage mapping project of Stoke’s high street. Over 150 residents of Stoke-on-Trent will take part in plate-making workshops, that explore Stoke’s past, present and future. Participants will use their plate designs to share their experiences from the last two years. Creating a conversation through clay across the city and beyond. 

Participants will use materials associated with Stoke’s high street to form connections with its heritage. Their plate design will commemorate this connection with heritage and will become part of an online pattern book. The pattern book will also hold further details of each individual and the inspiration behind their design. 

The project will culminate in a Stoke Makes Plates exhibition at British Ceramics Biennial 2021. Curated to give participants experiences, memories, stories and hopes a connection with Stoke-on-Trent. The exhibition will include over 250 plates including work from community members, commissioned artists and local ceramics manufacturers.  



Due to the national restrictions, all workshops will take place online. Participants will receive the materials and equipment they need to design and make their plate at home. The plates are then fired at BCB’s studio at Spode and decorated with digital transfers using the participant’s design.  


Who is taking part?


Community Groups in Stoke-on-Trent:

Example workshops:

  • Families at the Hub, Fenton, will imagine their dream shop. They will think about what would attract them to the high street of the future.  
  • Members of the LGBT group will explore the heritage of Spode ceramics. They will look at how surface pattern can tell a story and respond to their own experiences on the high street.  
  • Women attending the Mother group will explore the idea that ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. How can the high street help to create and support this?



Stoke Makes Plates aims to empower diverse communities to reclaim, redefine and revalue public space. It will do this through

  • Increasing community wellbeing and cohesion through participation in the heritage workshops. 
  • Strengthening the sense of local identity and promote civic pride. 
  • Helping communities invest in their high street as places to live, learn, work and visit.



Learn more about the High Street Heritage Action Zone:

Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zones announcement.  


Stoke Makes Plates is part of the Stoke High Street Heritage Action Zone programme delivered by Historic England. Their aim is to unlock the potential of high streets across England, fuel economic, social and cultural recovery and breathe new life into it for future generations. The project is part funded by Historic England and Stoke-on-Trent City Council. 



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