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A Week of Nice Things by Rory Strudwick

A Week of Nice Things by Rory Strudwick

Rory Strudwick, a RESORT member and local artist has a digital exhibition with Nice Things in Ramsgate and took part in the SECCADS workshops at RESORT in January 2020. We’ve asked him a bit about his work, how South East Creatives have supported him, as well seven nice things that inspire him, and here they are.

I am an artist, I predominately use printing techniques, screen printing, alongside textile wall hangings with a bit of design as well. My next plan is to start to make rugs, something I have been looking into for a little while. I have recently been working on an exhibition ‘How To Break a Hue’, as a result of coronavirus it is now online at Nice Things in Ramsgate.

When I did the SECCADS workshop in January I definitely felt that I was someone who was right at the start of my career as an artist. The workshop was great, it helped me to realise how to start time planning, months ahead as opposed to week by week. It gave me the right push to try and diversify my mediums and product ranges which is something I am developing.

Here’s a little selection of ‘nice things’ that inspire me, and why:

1. Timelapse and drawing – having taken the approach to not put pressure on myself to create, create, create during this pandemic I naturally fell on the idea of drawing for the sake of drawing, studying light etc. to which I drew what was in front of me, a bottle of corona.

2. Twelve stills from a stop-motion animation I did with a friend for their music video (disco lights by Pynch). However stacked on top of each other they make a wonderful object exploring depth and translucency.

3. These are signs my mum and grandad made for me and my brother when we were kids. The one with my name on features Scooby-do stickers, I clearly thought it could do with some improving as a kid!

4. My favourite artist is Josef Albers, I almost photographed his book ‘interaction of color’ but found this book to be very nice to browse through.

5. A drawing I did of the rooftops in the southern french town of Perpignan a few years ago on holiday.

6. This is a piece of work I made toward the end of my second year at university. I was just using up old inks and pigments and worked almost purely intuitively. It has lived on my wall in various flats and houses since then.

7. My Moroccan Rug. An experience I think everyone should do if they ever visit Marrakesh is to haggle a rug over a mint tea for 20 minutes.

CRACKDEN & WONKYPOT, Diary of a Freelance Creative in Margate

CRACKDEN & WONKYPOT, Diary of a Freelance Creative in Margate

Karin Brink is an interior stylist and ceramicist, she was a RESORT studio holder until last month, when she and John Gallagher (AKA Margate Magpie) moved to a house so sadly (for us!) had enough space to have their studios at home. 

I attended the two day workshop with SECCADS back in January and I found it very useful. I’m trying to promote my ceramics more at the moment and am in transition time in my business, so overall the whole workshop came in very handy. They touch on subjects such as pitching, planning, financial advice, social media etc. The planning element that David from Cockpit Arts talked about I found inspiring. A way of making sure you make progress but don’t put too much pressure on yourself – something we are all guilty of. Another thing I liked was meeting other people in similar situations (yet from wildly different fields) and chatting to them. You realise you are not alone in your struggles. In the future I’d love to continue with the 1 to 1 mentoring SECCADS offer, I just have not got around to it yet. SECCADS is such a great organisation full of lovely people, there to help small creative businesses.

Since the lockdown started my ‘normal’ work has stopped completely. I freelance as an interior stylist and that industry has been put on hold pretty much entirely.  At the same time 2020 was supposed to be the year to concentrate on my ceramics brand so when lockdown happened I was enrolled in a month long intensive ceramic course that got cut short. In addition, planned ceramics events like markets and exhibitions also got cancelled so I guess in a way, it became the perfect time to immerse myself in the making process.

Every week, I try making a fluid schedule of what needs to ‘get done’. But the longer lockdown goes on the harder I find to stick to it.



After picking up some bisque fired pieces (the first firing) I sat in the garden and painted a few more of my Immigrant mugs and a few plates for an order that will be shipped once lockdown is over.  Also managed to get to the Post Office with a few bits that needed shipping.

In the studio today (at home). Mostly been faffing about thinking about shapes and glazes, not getting much done. But I find days like this, just being in the space, sometimes helps nurture the creative process (when brain allows). I took all pots out and just looked at them. Staring at pots somehow helps. You slowly analyse what you like, what you don’t like and how you would like to move forward. These pieces are a few bits that started out as glaze tests and then turned into something so much more. Its almost like they have their own little soul. Depending on the day’s mood I like to pick out 3 of my favourites (it always varies) and see which ones I relate most to.

Blending glazes Wednesday! Although I’m not yet blending my own recipes and this is a shop bought glaze it still needs mixing and there are a few risk elements to it. It can easily come out too thick, too thin, cloudy etc. Mixing glaze is also something that requires a bit of corona style gear since it can be dangerous to breathe in the powder (consisting of metal oxides, silica, alumina), so you need to wear some protective gear. The outcome of the glaze always makes me feel a bit uncertain since you have to test it out once its mixed. Nothing in pottery is quick!

Head seems to not be quite there today. Scatty and most of my time gets spent thinking I’m not doing enough with all this time on my hands. Guilt and fatigue. Not a good combo. The socks help although I feel more like the sad version than the happy. Moodswings is part of my lockdown.

Today a bit more prep for the #artistsupportpledge. A very cool initiative from Matthew Burrows studio, that enables artists to sell their work during lockdown. Once they reach a certain limit they have to invest into another artist. It’s a great concept. Today I’ve been taking a few pictures of the pieces I am submitting. Here are some pictures of the story of the pieces. They are all wheelthrown in separate pieces and then handbuilt together. It’s my little labour of love within my ceramics. They take a while to make and I can’t really justify the time I spend on them but I really love the process and each and every piece is unique and makes it worth it in the end.

Melanie King, Artist and Photographer

Melanie King, Artist and Photographer

Melanie King is an artist and curator with a specific focus on astronomy. She is co-Director of super/collider, Lumen Studios and founder of the London Alternative Photography Collective. She is a lecturer on the MA programme at the Royal College of Art, and on the BA Photography course at University of West London. Melanie is a PhD Candidate at the Royal College of Art. She is a graduate of the MA in Art and Science at Central Saint Martins, and the BA Fine Art at Leeds Art University. Melanie is a desk holder at Resort where she uses the Darkroom for her photo projects.

In 2018, I moved to Margate and had previously visited Resort on one of the Christmas Fair events, so I was overjoyed to get a desk space at Resort, whilst also having access to the darkroom and print room.

I am an artist who primarily works with science, photography and materiality. I have a background in Fine Art, so I was drawn to the interdisciplinary artist network that Resort provides. It is fantastic to see the broad range of creative activity that happens at Resort. I recently printed “Lunar Portraits” a series of portraits illuminated by the light of the Full Moon in the darkroom at Resort. These photographs formed a solo show at Leeds Art University which opened in January 2020.

I have participated in one SECCADs training session, which helped me with the more practical side of my business. This session helped me to learn more about accounting, as well as learning about the importance of posture in public speaking. SECCADs has also subsidised a chemigram workshop within the darkroom, which allowed me to sell tickets at a cheaper price. This meant that the tickets were more accessible for a wider audience.

I have applied to the SECCADs Individual Grant as I would like to set up my own tailored studio space in Ramsgate. I have the space already, but specific equipment would allow me to create large format photographs of the night sky, which is something I have not yet been able to do.

Megan Metcalf, Illustrator

Megan Metcalf, Illustrator

Megan Metcalf is an illustrator based in Margate. She studied Textile Design at Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design. For over 12 years she was a Creative Research professional and Colour Material Designer for companies such as NOKA and Samsung Design Europe. Megan runs a live illustration business at

I am an illustrator, I consider myself intuitive and expressive, my subject matters and inspirations come from where I am, what I’m doing, alongside my vivid and wild imagination, taking me to some fun places. I don’t limit myself to any medium in particular, I love to use all sorts of processes and materials, ideally from natural and sustainable resources.

I love to do live illustrations to celebrate big life events such as weddings. I also love to make the seemingly mundane feel magical; a true skill during times of lockdown. Through my practice I aim to provide respite and joy in a world that at times can be overwhelming.

I attended two SECCADS workshop sessions back in the new year. This was to help me with my live illustration business and my commercial work and self-development. It was AMAZINGLY powerful and set me on the right road to help me and my art practice and business flourish. We had fabulous speakers and I felt valuable and valued. I am now receiving mentoring which is helping me to step that bit further to having a fully profitable business and to not only set my sights high but workout how to get there too!

Kim Conway, The Darkroom Project

Kim Conway, The Darkroom Project

Kim Conway is a Resort member and runs The Darkroom Project, a community analogue photography darkroom which offers workshops for all levels of ability, in traditional black and white darkroom printing and alternative and historic photography processes. The Darkroom Project has been running since 2015 and alongside the workshop programme, also provides professional developing and printing facilities for the public to hire and work independently.

I applied to SECCADS for the workshop sessions and mentoring as the business was keeping its head above water – just, but I felt I could do with some focused guidance as I often felt I was running blindfolded and had adopted organisational methods that could do with being revisited.

The workshops were held over two consecutive Saturdays in January 2020. Each session there were between 10 and 15 participants, all local creatives. The nature of the talks and activities we were encouraged to participate in became ice breakers and this enabled natural and collective networking, with a sense of a common purpose. Almost immediately I had evolved from being a solo business owner, struggling, feeling isolated, unable to make any purposeful headway to a creative business owner amongst many that all share a passion to succeed and a desire to connect.

From the story telling workshop, where we learned techniques for effective communication, to the workshop regarding creative copyright and the session on bookkeeping and finances – the two days were packed with essential and most importantly relevant information that for me filled in the missing gaps that for so long had hampered the progress of my business. A lot of the organisational structure I had adopted from the beginning was modelled on standard business models and this was not always the most appropriate or compatible with the nature of The Darkroom Project. I walked away form the SECCADS workshops with a clear understanding of how a ‘creative’ business model works, from a legal, structural and practical perspective , and how to implement and integrate this into taking The Darkroom Project forwards towards a more vibrant and stable community asset.

And I met people there that I am now good friends with. We often meet up and brainstorm ideas using the techniques we discovered at the Workshops.

The Darkroom Project is in the process of implementing organisational changes to improve the overall running of the business. I was able to focus on creating a realistic and achievable business plan and even though social distancing measures due to the Coronavirus pandemic have been a challenge, I am taking the opportunity to work behind the scenes. I am very optimistic about the future of The Darkroom Project now.



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