Whitegold Project- Brickfields


Whitegold Project- Brickfields

As part of the Whitegold project 2019, the first Clay Exchange project is Brickfield, a community arts project set in the heart of Cornwall’s clay country run by Rosanna Martin and Georgia Gendall .

Brickfield involves the creation of an experimental brickworks at Blackpool China Clay Pit, TrewoonSt Mewan, St Austell. The project aims to develop a new site for collective community brick production.

Rosanna and Georgia will be working with a wide range of students, architects, and local businesses as well as calling on brick making experts, clay country geologists and historians.

Together with community groups from around the clay towns and villages, they will design, make and fire a new Clay Country brick which will be stacked to make a specialist brick kiln and will be fired as part of the Whitegold festival 2019.

During June/July there will be opportunities to take part in field trips exploring the china clay landscape to learn how the china clay industry has shaped the countryside around St Austell.

In August there will be a series of workshops that will involve designing a new brick. A brick-making production site will be created with opportunities to get involved in all stages of making the new brick.

This will involve: mixing and preparing clay, adding combustibles to the mix, wedging the clay to remove air, pressing clay into wooden moulds, knocking out the bricks and laying them to dry before they are finally added to the kiln to be fired.

A number of brickworks existed across Cornwall, from small scale sites such as Heligan, to larger scale commercial outputs like Par.

Brickfield invites you to get involved in all aspects of the project, for further details visit their website http://whitegold.org.uk/ or to register interest contact [email protected]

Whitegold International Ceramic Prize


Whitegold International Ceramic Prize

The first Whitegold International Ceramic Prize is a celebration of clay in relationship with people, culture and place. The winners of the prize will be invited to make a new piece of work drawing on the history and culture of St Austell’s industrial and post-industrial landscape and its global china clay connections.

Artists, collectives and CIC’s from around the world are invited to submit works that use clay to inspire new perspectives and insights into place – the specific character of a location that makes it unique. All work of exceptional quality that connects people and place through creativity with clay will be considered. Submitted artwork should ideally be culturally and environmentally aware and socially engaged. 

The Whitegold International Ceramic Prize is an award in two parts. Winners will receive a cash prize, along with a paid commission for the development of a new work for St Austell.

First Prize: £10,000 with an additional £5,000 to develop a new local artwork between Jan-Mar 2020

Second Prize: £5,000 and an additional £2,500 to develop a new local artwork between Jan-Mar 2020

This is the first prize of its kind to be run by the Whitegold Project.

The object of the Whitegold Project is to raise the profile of St Austell as a world recognised destination for art and clay, an attraction for visitors from across the globe. Our vision is to work with artists, makers and designers to celebrate past and present, and create future stories of china clay and the communities who live with it, inspiring people in and around the district to develop their creative potential and the area’s future sustainability.

St Austell Story So Far


St Austell Story So Far

“By 2030 St Austell and its hinterland will be celebrated as a green and ceramic cultural centre, as a place of innovation and an active theatre”.

St Austell: A cultural programme to deliver sustainable economic growth to St Austell and its hinterland

The Vision

“We aim to turn the St Austell area into a vast garden featuring stunning ceramic artwork. Alongside our local gardens and artists, we will transform the St Austell area through a programme of cultural initiatives. We have a vision to draw together the Great Gardens located near St Austell (Pinetum, Caerhays, Trewithen, Heligan and the Eden Project) with ceramic arts to create an urban parkscape across the town and beyond. From giant ceramic exhibits to wildflower corridors, and an annual programme of events and activities we have the opportunity to change the way in which St Austell is perceived locally, nationally and internationally. Using ceramics and horticulture to create public art installations will raise the quality of the built environment and public spaces across the area. China clay – the material that transformed St Austell’s fortunes will be used to create statues, carvings, engravings, paving designs, mosaics, street furniture that will sit next to planting schemes curated by some of the UK’s most popular gardens. Two annual festivals on these themes, The Garden Festival in June and Whitegold Festival in September, will provide an improved sense of place, and community pride, and will complement these permanent exhibitions. This vision for the area will enhance the landscape, transform spaces and stimulate economic growth by attracting new visitors, new investment and make the area an attractive place to live and work”.

The Website

The St Austell Bay Website is here and features all the many excellent businesses, shops, facilities, visitor attractions and services that we have on offer. It will provide a multi-faceted destination site of information for visitors, locals residents and businesses. Our goal is for this to be the go to place for anyone looking at St Austell.

The Garden Project

The focal point of the year for the garden project will be the summer Garden Festival, timed to coincide with the flowers in our local gardens. The festival will showcase the great estates and gardens that surround the town, including Heligan, Caerhays, Pinetum and the Eden Project, with experts from each on hand to answer questions from budding gardeners and deliver hints and tips on how to make your own garden great. Local schools will be invited to participate in gardening competitions. Music, fun and entertainment will be the order of the weekend. The next garden festival will held on Saturday 22nd June 2019, please click here for more details.

The Whitegold Project

We are creating a Ceramic Art Programme for the town centre and the china clay area, as well as a partnership ‘clay exchange’ with the ‘Ceramic City’ Stoke-on-Trent. A diverse and exciting programme led by local, national and international artists, featuring ceramicists and other artists who create events, exhibitions and installations as well as permanent artwork in public spaces, linking closely with the garden projects.

We want to see creative, innovative and active public spaces that use art, craft and design to celebrate both the material of china clay and the culture of the clay country, enhancing its sense of place using clay and other media.

We are planning to launch the Whitegold Ceramics Prize at the Whitegold Festival. The first award will be made in 2019/20 and will seek to honour innovation in ceramic art. The successful artist will be invited to showcase their work at the Whitegold festival and be offered a bursary to support their development in St Austell. For full details please click here

The Whitegold Festival is an annual celebration. Our vision is to work with artists, makers and designers to celebrate past and present, and create future stories of china clay and the communities who live with it, inspiring people in and around the district to develop their creative potential and the area’s future sustainability.

Now its in 4th year the Whitegold Festival will reach right across the town centre, with performance and demonstration areas, clay and other craft artists from across Cornwall, and entertainment from street performers, jazz bands, dance groups, and brass bands from the clay villages amongst others, continuing the proud heritage of community music-making. The next whitegold festival will take place on Saturday 21st September 2019.

Igniting Bright Sparks


Igniting Bright Sparks

St Austell’s future is in high-tech, high- value businesses. For our community to prosper and thrive the area must attract and retain young people which means thinking very differently about what will drive the economy and the sort of people who will do this.

To make this more than a niche opportunity will involve working with the universities, local Cornwall College and ensuring a digitally based career path is achievable and supported. The Carluddon Technology Park and ESAM developments will compliment the already thriving hi-tech St Austell Business Park to be the catalyst for innovative and entrepreneurial business providing a high quality employment space and the right environment to help prepare the next generation ready for the success to come.

There is a real need to excite young people about the future and their potential in St Austell; the talent is there it just needs releasing.

Green Horizons


Green Horizons

With fabulous countryside and local attractions the world famous Eden Project and Heligan Gradens, St Austell has an abundance of ‘green’ everywhere you look.

Horticulture features prominently in the area, first and foremost at the Eden project which sits in a former China Clay pit and whose enormous biomes house thousands of people every year. Eden is also championing geothermal energy as it looks to produce power from hot rocks several kilometres under Cornwall and there are hopes that it could be online as early as 2020.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan have seen the restoration of a genuine secret garden, consigned to overgrowth and lost for decades until the early 1990s. Since then, it has been transformed back to its original splendour and the estate now aims to work with nature protecting and enhancing the variety of habitats within. There are also important and interesting gardens at Pinetum, Tregrehan, Tywardreath and Caerhays Castle.

Naturally Active


Naturally Active

St Austell is at the very heart of Cornwall, surrounded by beautiful, sweeping coasting and picturesque countryside and its natural attributes offer a wealth of outdoor activities to both residents and visitors alike.

The curve of St Austell Bay with its many sandy beaches is a haven for water sports and family holidays, with opportunities for sailing, rowing, surfing, diving and fishing.

This area is literally St Austell’s ‘active theatre’ which appeals to everyone but perhaps especially to a younger demographic.

The area is also fantastic for walking, riding and cycling with many woodlands and trails; splendid inland and coastal paths to enjoy the majestic scenery such as the Pentewan Valley Trail from St Austell down to the coast at Pentewan village and beach, or the Clay Trails leading north west up the valley from St Austell towards the China Clay Country Park at Wheal Martyn.

Fresh Green Futures


Fresh Green Futures

To create a sense of a fresh start, St Austell Bay Economic Forum has been working with placemaking consultants thinkingplace to re-brand St Austell.

Together we have created a look and feel that shows how the St Austell area is special and competitive. This will help us develop a new story that every organisation and individual across the area is part of, and feels able to tell.

The story will help give us focus, ensure we play to our strengths and that we grasp the opportunities that are in front of us. The work identified three key themes, namely Green Horizons, Igniting Bright Sparks and Naturally Active, which describe the essence of St Austell. They will guide how we develop our offer through the way we communicate, what we build, and the environment we create.

By 2030 St Austell bay and its hinterland will be celebrated as a green and ceramic cultural centre, as a place of innovation and an active theatre.

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