Granby Workshop

Granby Workshop

Granby Workshop is a group of creatives based in Liverpool. They have become well known for their colourful clay work, made from industrial and post-consumer clay waste that would otherwise be sent to landfill. Waste from the local area is also used, including rubble from demolished homes in the area. What makes this studio a little different is they are a group of creatives that are aiming to rebuild Granby, a neighbourhood that was nearly made derelict by decades of poorly-planned regeneration initiatives. One other thing that makes them special is that Assemble, who launched Granby Workshop, won the Turner Prize in 2015. Making them the first non-artist ever to win.

 

The workshop is operated by local residents who were trained by Assemble. Although their ceramic tiles and tableware are the most recognisable outcomes from the artists in residence, they create a variety of projects. Most of these pieces are made from materials collected from the disused Victorian terraced houses in the Granby Street neighbourhood. The outcomes help the area by cleaning, planting, painting and campaigning. In 2011 they even entered into an innovative form of community land ownership to secure 10 empty houses, and renovate them as affordable homes. These homes were then furnished with pieces made by the artists, such as bathroom tiles, door handles and fireplaces. The Granby Rock fireplaces were created by re-casting demolition waste from the buildings renovations. The final outcome was a terrazzo-like surround that became the centrepiece of each living room.

 

Granby Workshop aim to reduce and reuse waste. They not only re-think how waste can be used, but also change perceptions of waste. Showcasing how beautiful products and surfaces can be produced. Many with their own incredible story. Their ceramic tableware collection, which they exhibited at the London Design Festival in 2019, was made from 100% waste materials. These functional products helped people see how waste can be used to create usable and attractive products. While their colourful tiles have now been used in a variety of interior design projects, as well as in Granby homes. They were created from waste, but their aesthetic is a tribute to the traditional floor tiles found in the hallways and doorways of the old properties found in the area.

 

The industrial and post-consumer waste they use is turned into clay and glazes. The waste clay is collected from industry, where sludge is collected before water is returned to the mains in the production of any ceramic product. This sludge generally goes into landfill, but Granby comes in and collects it from the factory. The glazes are made from this clay, mixed with a concoction of crushed recycled glass, dust from slate, granite and marble quarrying, recycled and magnesia-rich refractory bricks. Old fired ceramic waste, such as plates, tiles and bricks, are also crushed into fine powders and added. The final outcome differs each time depending on the materials used. Creating colourful dappled surfaces.

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References:

Graby Workshop

Rob Vincent

Takiyah Daly