Wednesday 25 May 6:30 pm - 7: 30 pm

A conversation with Jane Pugh, writer and Phoebe Cummings, artist.

Join us for a fascinating discussion between two creatives, writer Jane Pugh and ceramic artist Phoebe Cummings, who will delve into the significance of clay and its influences on their recent work. They will discuss their shared practice of making site-specific work that responds to place.

Jane Pugh, recent ‘Writers of the Clay’ writer-in-residence for Literature Works and Wheal Martyn Clay Works Museum in Cornwall, will draw on her time in-residence at the museum, and perform her piece created from the residency Grey Matter. Jane explored themes of the natural, unnatural and supernatural, drawing inspiration from the interface between industry and rurality. She worked with the local community, local people who live their lives amongst the extraordinariness of the clay-mined landscape.

Phoebe Cummings will draw on her own artistic practice of working with clay and her residency at the Custom House 25-29 May as part of Honeyscribe’s programme. Utilising the Custom House as a space of live production, research and performance, she will consider the historic function of the building as a site for recording the movement of materials and objects and will continue her exploration of writing as a form of recording and re-performing ephemeral works in clay. Re-cycled clay from former works will be combined with new raw material in a site-specific botanical installation as a contemporary response to the building’s original 17th century plaster ceilings.
Phoebe will work with local residents and visitors during her residency using drawing, making and writing to explore the building and its histories and consider ideas of value, raw materials, making and care through a series of workshops and events.

Her installation which will remain on display in the Custom House until 24th July.

You can also ‘save a seat’ here to watch the live stream of this event from home, free of charge.


About the speakers
Jane Pugh is a writer and performer based in Penzance. She is course leader and lecturer specializing in screenwriting at Falmouth University and leads workshops for The Writers’ Block. In 2021, she produced Paper, Pens and Envelopes, a letter-writing scheme for primary school children and old people living in isolation following lock-down. Jane leads Discover Your Story workshops for the National Trust throughout the Southwest, enabling staff and volunteers to find and share property stories with visitors. As a script editor and developer, Jane manages the annual Emerging Writers Scheme for The Minack Theatre, and as a freelance script editor, her clients include Ed Rowe, Mark Hayhurst (First Light, Chichester Theatre Festival) and Wildworks (Wolf’s Child).

Phoebe Cummings is a British ceramic artist – Winner of the British Ceramics Biennial Award (2011) and Woman’s Hour Craft Prize (2017). She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by University of Brighton School of Arts in 2019 and is Research Associate at the Ceramics Research Centre UK, University of Westminster. Working primarily with clay in its raw state, her exquisite time-based botanical installations gradually shapeshift over time, shrinking, cracking, breaking and turning to dust. 

This event will be in-person at Exeter Custom House. We have increased capacity at Quay Words events, so you may be sitting next to someone who is not in your household. We are still taking precautions to ensure our audiences are protected from Covid 19. For this reason we ask that you please consider wearing a mask when not seated and moving around the building. We will be keeping windows open to ensure good ventilation in the building so you may want to bring an extra layer. Please do not attend Quay Words events if you have symptoms of Covid-19 or are feeling unwell.This event is going to be filmed for live broadcast on Crowdcast. You may appear on screen. Please only book if you are happy with this.

Tickets are limited and available on a first come-first served basis. Please only book if you intend to be part of the invited audience on 25th May 2022 . Please provide your full name, email address and phone number when booking. We can accommodate free tickets for carers or personal assistants if needed. Please email us on after booking to let us know if you would like to book one of these tickets.

Book with confidence, any changes in guidance that prevent the event from going ahead in person will result in a refund of the ticket price and the event will take place digitally.

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