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Entry #1 Manor Oaks Residency 2012

We welcome our new 2012 resident artist at Manor Oaks Studios: Edith Garcia.

Edith was selected in November 2011 by Yorkshire Artspace Ceramicists Miles Gavin and Susan Disley - both based at Manor Oaks Studios, Chief Executive at Green Estate Sue France and Yorkshire Artspace programme manager Mir Jansen.

Born in Los Angeles, Edith Garcia is a ceramic sculptor and researcher. She received her BFA, from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and MFA from the California College or Arts (and Crafts). Her work has been exhibited throughout North America, Mexico and Europe, and is included in the permanent Sculpture Garden of the Archie Bray Foundation in Montana and other public and private collections across the USA and UK. Her pieces have been featured in New Keramik, Ceramic Review, Ceramic Monthly, Time Out London, American Craft Magazine, Breaking the Mould, and Confrontational Ceramics.

Edith has recently completed her MPhil research into the human figure in sculpture at the Royal College of Art in London. And is the author of upcoming publication 'Ceramics and the Human Figure' published by A&C Black. More information on the artist can be found at

Entry #2 Manor Oaks Residency 2012

January 21, 2012

I had the pleasure of attending the induction for my residency last week, it was a whirl-wind action pack day of trains, transfers and tour of the facilities. Along with meetings to discuss the wonderful opportunities to showcase my work as well the possibility of working with the local community.

The Manor Oaks studio's are gorgeous and the spaces the artists have the privilege of being house in would make any London artists weep in jealousy. They were spacious and pristine. Had a lovely visit and meet some great artists. I am really looking forward to setting up my own work area in the upcoming weeks and start to get my hands dirty… I am so excited and can't wait!

Until next time…Keep in touch at! xxx

Entry #3 Manor Oaks Residency 2012

February 17, 2012

During my first week as the artist in residence at Manor Oak Studio’s in Sheffield, I was able to get an intimate look into the way people live in Sheffield, during my first week I was able to get to know the city bit by bit. Learning the transportation system (since I quickly found out Sheffield has a lot of hills! ha!).

My first day in the studio, I was very pleased to see that the studio was ready for me to set up and get to work. I awaited the delivery of clay and was pleased to see that my studio mate Miles Gavin was available to help me through the first days in the studio. After setting up my tables and shelf space, I was able to make some initial sketches of ideas for new work. On the second day my clay arrived so was very excited to see that in the first few days I was able to create a new pieces.

During the week I was able to walk around the Green Estates, City Centre and the surrounding area and discover a bit more about life in Sheffield (and try to get a better sense for where I was) . During my walks I began to notice the diversity and unique friendly-ness of the people of the Green Estate community and Sheffield. This inspired! me to try and capture some of the unique faces of Sheffield and I have begun to sketch out a possibilities for new work. I will be back in the studio from 5th March to 9th and from 19th until 23rd and begin to transform these intimate sketches into 3-D sculptural works. In the mean time, keep following my blogs on the Residency Journal page of this website.

Until next time…Keep in touch at! xxx

Entry #4 Manor Oaks Residency 2012

March 5, 2012

On first day back to Sheffield and Manor Oak studios, I was so pleased to complete a figure and place it in the kiln. I hope to be able and take the piece out of the kiln in the next day or so. Also continuing with the concepts of Faces of Sheffield, piece – I was able to complete one that was influenced by a young mom walking thought the Green Estates with the most unique style and personality. Tomorrow, I will start a second Face of Sheffield that is being influenced by the creativity of the artists and landscape of the Green Estates around me.

Entry #5 Manor Oaks Residency 2012

March 6, 2012

Kiln is at 336 degrees! Yes! So hope to be able and take the piece out today…fingers crossed. First time using studio kiln – even though these are my test pieces, I hope they come out perfect so I can keep the work moving forward! Was busy day, I had a lovely lunch outside today at the organic Café that is part of the Green Estates. Was so great to be able and sit in the sun – with the rest of the artist Miles, Anne and Mir (Organiser) for a tasty lunch. After lunch, I was able to finish building a second piece and hope to place both pieces in the kiln tomorrow. Excited to see them all when they are out of the kiln!

Entry #6 Manor Oaks Residency 2012

March 7, 2012

It is always like Christmas opening a kiln! I am so pleased to be able and see that all the pieces came out perfectly, testing a new clay and slip – was pleased to see that they worked together, yet not so pleased that you can see the brushstrokes. Will see if I can smooth this out a bit…but am pleased that two of the six heads for the Faces of Sheffield piece are done. Will need to start thinking of surface treatments for these. Finished the female figure for the second wall pieces, I am going to start working on the partner for this...

Entry #7 Manor Oaks Residency 2012

March 8, 2012

Began working in black clay for the second piece to partner with the female wall piece. Needed to put away all my white clay materials don’t want to mix all these materials together – what a mess that would be! Ha! I purchased some already coloured black earthenware – instead mixing black stain as usual into the clay body. A bit of treat for me to use and already mixed clay – I sure hope this fires black and not a dark brown – otherwise…I might have a few choice words to share! Ha! Well, I am excited to work with this new clay. Lets see what fabulous things we can do…Happy to see the hand I sculpted fit snuggly into the top of its piece...was a bit worried.. ;-)!

Until next time…Keep in touch at! xxx

Entry #8 Manor Oaks Residency 2012

March 9, 2012

Wow! This black clay said that it was perfect for handbuilding; not so sure about that! With no grog this clay is quite difficult to get to handle the handbuilding process…nothing the use of a hairdryer could not fix! Ha! I am pleased to almost be done with this piece, since this clay – has gotten me pretty close to given up a few times! Ha! Am hoping that this clay will come out of the kiln looking luscious and dark! I am looking for the feel of a shadow creeping out of the darkness…let’s hope it delivers!

Looking forward to next week, since now that I feel comfortable with the materials and kiln I can start making some larger pieces! Yeaaa! It's almost like it's my birthday next week ;-)! Excited!

For now, back to working on the computer for some laser cutting as the clay dries…really have to stop putting black clay on my keyboard…! Ha!

Entry #9 Manor Oaks Residency 2012

March 19, 2012

Arrived today with some ideas as to what I would like to create, but have also been looking forward to my tour of the area from Peter on Thursday, to help inspire some new idea, it will be great to be able and get a more in-depth understanding of the area. I have been researching in the meantime, into the history of Mary, Queen of the Scots. It is amazing that she was held prisoner here for 14 years by the 6th Earl of Shrewsbury and his partner Bess of Hardwick. Of course, very well looked after, she was after all a Queen. I decided this week to create a work inspired by this historical story. And will wait to see what else I learn after my tour…and wait for my brain to start turning those creative wheels.

Entry #10 Manor Oaks Residency 2012

March 21, 2012

The Tour was amazing! Peter is such an impressive guide and historian (as well as once being a Headteacher and currently he is the Education and Visitor Experience Officer at Green Estate). I have had glorious privilege of being guide through the history of Green Estates as well as the history of the Sheffield Manor Lodge. As I walked and documented the gorgeous landscape I could not help and wonder how beautiful this area must have been as a deer park with the Earl of Shrewsbury, Bess of Hardwick and Mary, Queen of Scots roaming through the gardens. I do love history! The greatest thrill was to be able and walked into the Manor Lodge and think that Mary, Queen of Scots, had lived here. This for me has been one of the most amazing and fantastic experiences as been a artist in residence in Sheffield. It is truly breathtaking.

Entry #11 Manor Oaks Residency 2012

March 23, 2012

Have had a busy week in the studio, after being engulfed in the history of Green Estates and Manor Lodge…especially the history of Mary, Queen of Scots and her relationship with Bess of Hardwick and Queen Elizabeth I. Has made my mind race with ideas and possibilities for new works. There are also some artifacts in the Discovery Center (the Education Centre here) that are extremely impressive. I think all of these will be great inspiration for a series of work to create. I hate to leave the studio today as am full of ideas – but next week I will have a chance to get all my ideas down on paper and be ready to work when I return.

Entry #12 Manor Oaks Residency 2012

April 2, 2012

Very excited to be back to the studio, I will place the sculpture in the kiln today and being to work on the second work inspired the history of Manor Lodge. I also want to take a closer look at the Cathedral in Sheffield as I have heard that is has strong ties to the area – so I will head that way when I need a break or the clay needs to dry a bit! Back to work…Oh! kiln is being used…well straight into getting my hands dirty and next to figure out a unique wall wooden base for this lovely Royal Lady...;-)!

Entry #13 Manor Oaks Residency 2012

April 18, 2012

A very wonderful and exciting week. I was able to travel with my fellow artists Anne, Miles and Joel to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park yesterday and be inspired by the amazing and breathtaking work of Joan Miro - it is always such a unique experience to see these classic works in person and be able to see how they have helped to shape contemporary art.

Also enjoyed the sound of the kiln clicking away as it fired my second work inspired by Manor Lodge history, Bess of Hardwick. I decided to sculpt and armour unto my Bess of Harwick sculpture, since she was such an amazingly strong woman from what I have learned and read.

For additional images of our experience at Yorkshire Sculpture Park and of Bess:

Entry #14 Manor Oaks Residency 2013

January 2, 2013

With the beginning of a New Year! I am so excited to be returning to Sheffield in January to complete the final part of my Artist in Residency at Manor Oaks Studios. I will be working diligently toward the opening of Stories in the Making, at MADE NORTH Gallery in Sheffield. Which will feature Edith Garcia, Stephen Dixon, Paul Scott, Susan Disley and Emilie Taylor. I am very excited to be showing with such great artists.

Also, a wonderful way to start the New Year is with an article in this months' Ceramic Review Magazine highlighting my wonderful experience as the Artist in Residence in Sheffield, take a look on page 19. It has been an amazing journey and I look forward to seeing you all at the opening of the exhibition on February 7th, please do come and take a look at the amazing work that I have had the opportunity to create as well view some of the other outstanding work being created in Sheffield.

See you on February 7th at 6pm for the Opening Preview Night of Stories in the Making, Ceramic Narratives + Dialogue. The exhibition will run from 31 January to 28 March 2013.

More information at: and
Location: Yorkshire Artspace, Persistence Works, 21 Brown Street, Sheffield, S1 2BS