Earthly Arts Studio Launch: Getting Northamptonshire potty about pottery

Date 30.05.2024

A local sculptor and portrait artist has been planting the seeds of wellbeing through creativity, which has now flourished into a newly launched pottery studio within the county.

Earthly Arts Studio is a studio that encourages creativity with heritage art forms without limitations. The studio is owned by Lisa Lovett, a heritage practitioner and part of the University of Northampton’s Heritage Accelerator Programme and supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Formally opened on Friday 27 May with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, the studio will offer members of the local community a safe space to discover first-hand the healing powers of pottery, painting and creative self-expression.

As a UON Primary Education graduate with a background in bereavement counselling, Lisa has always had a passion for art and is excited to pursue exploring how art intertwines with mental health and expression with Earthly Arts Studio.

“My studio idea, and the name ‘Earthly Arts’, represents the historic roots of pottery and the opportunity to dig deep and uncover new branches of creativity,” Lisa explains.

“Opening Earthly Arts Studio is a goal I have worked towards for the last five years, and I am delighted to be based at The Chester House Estate in the beautiful, rustic space of the courtyard, where people can come and see me create or join a class.

“In 2018, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was devastating and took a toll on my mental health. Then, after I suffered from a stroke in 2019 and worked through my rehabilitation, I found art gave me purpose. A real way to relearn how to focus, develop my coordination and speech.

“After lockdown eased, I decided to start planting seeds of creativity into the community, and reached out to an incredible Northamptonshire charity that supported me through cancer – Breast Friends’ Northampton. I tested some workshop ideas with the team there, making cups. It was therapeutic for us all, a different outlet where we could channel our emotions and focus on our creativity and have fun!

“Once I had established myself, and my speech and coordination improved, I applied for the Heritage Accelerator Programme, and have been part of the Programme since October 2023. I am delighted to have achieved a dream and to open a studio at one of Northamptonshire’s unique, renowned heritage sites, The Chester House Estate.”

The launch event for Earthly Arts Studio was attended by North Northamptonshire Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Sport, Leisure, Culture and Tourism, University of Northampton’s Trustee and Member of the Board Paul Wood, and dozens of members of the community, who were keen to seek out the opportunity for experience the power of art and creativity in healing and growth under Lisa’s tutelage.

North Northamptonshire Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Sport, Leisure, Culture and Tourism, Cllr Helen Howell, said: “The launch of Earthly Arts Studio is a momentous occasion as it marks a significant step in our ongoing efforts to enhance and diversify the experiences that we offer at Chester House Estate.

“The therapeutic benefits of pottery and creative expression contribute towards the overall wellbeing of our visitors. By providing a space for artistic exploration, we support mental health and wellness, which is especially important in today’s fast-paced world. Here at North Northamptonshire Council, we’re excited to see our relationship with Lisa Lovett, Chester House Estate and the University of Northampton continue to flourish.”

Earthly Arts Studio is located in the courtyard of Chester House Estate, Wellingborough. Workshops can be booked in advance via their Facebook page – or just pop in to say hello!

Find out more about the Heritage Impact Accelerator – and how to get involved – here.

The Heritage Impact Accelerator – backed by the National Lottery Heritage Fund – support practitioners in both towns and surrounding areas, to deliver heritage-related educational projects, covering community heritage, natural heritage, industrial heritage and heritage of both town’s architecture.

These projects can include educational talks and discussions, and this project is being directly informed by UON’s partner, University of Bedfordshire, following their successful, similar project in Luton.

The Heritage Skills Hub brings practitioners and heritage organisations together with schools to develop their skills and sector knowledge enabling them to work with community groups, schools and the wider population in the county to pass on their knowledge to others.