Emporium 53 is a celebration of local artists
Owners Trace Clay and John Clay, left, celebrate with artists outside their new business Emporium 53 in Cambridge Street, Cleethorpes.
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 8 May 2018
IF TRADITIONAL art isn’t quite to your tastes, you might want to consider the relaunched Emporium 53 – a collection of the most unique and talented artists.
Everything from exotic handmade chocolates to skateboards made out of reclaimed wood is available from 22 different local artists.
“We’ve made it as quirky and outrageous as we possibly can,” the owner John Clay said.
“It’s a celebration of local talent – we think it’s important to support the seemingly obvious talent we have in this area.”
Just some of the wonderful artwork on display
Customers can follow a yellow brick road through the amazing wares in the shop’s four rooms.
John’s partner Trace, an artist who creates handmade chocolates in unusual flavours and colours, was looking for a place to display her work. John got the idea to buy the Emporium, which opened last September.
The shop on Cambridge Street in Cleethorpes is now open under the new management, and is still looking for artists to join its ranks.
“We put out a call for local artists to join us, and the response has been amazing. We could probably fill another shop and we’re already in touch with exciting artists to show in the future.”
So, who will you find there?
Damian George has been skateboarding nearly 20 years, since he was 13, so perhaps it was inevitable he would get interested in making them.
What’s less likely is his choice of material – reclaimed or repurposed pieces of wood that were going to be thrown out.
Damian – who attended the opening as pirate Captain Jack Sparrow to continue the salvage theme – has his own woodworking business.
He gets most of his materials from a wood yard in Lincoln, and spends half a day fashioning each one into a working skateboard, or sometimes a coffee table or a mirror.
“I use my imagination and try and see what abandoned materials could be reused for. I also incorporate wheels from agricultural vehicles into my work."
Most people enjoy chocolate, but not everyone considers it an art form. But Trace Clay has always been fascinated with the possibilities of it.
“Chocolate was one type of art I hadn’t worked with before, so I decided to give it a go,” she said.
“I have 25 different flavours people probably won’t have tried before, like passion fruit and grated coconut or milk chocolate creme infused with spices.
“I use cocoa paint on the mould to create the colours and patterns on them.”
Her chocolates are also interwoven with fairy tales and classic children’s stories, so if you’ve ever wanted to know what chocolate inspired by the Cheshire Cat or Captain Hook tastes like, Trace has your answer.
Pam first learnt casting working with children at St Andrew’s Hospice, however she’s developed it into a business which captures memories of all stages of life.
Casting Memories takes imprints of hands, feet, pregnancy bumps and even pets to help people remember loved ones.
“People want something to physically hold onto after a death, especially if it’s sudden or tragic. I often work with funeral parlours to give family something to remember them by, whether it’s a hand to hold or a face to touch.
“Lately, we’ve found symbolic babies are very popular for people who’ve had a miscarriage. It gives them something to touch, even though they never got to hold their baby.”
She also helps to immortalise happy moments, such as newborn babies’ hands or an expectant mum’s bump.
It takes just 20 minutes for Pam to create an impression, which are often decorated in a style that represents the person.
Lynsey Powles has always enjoyed spray paint – but don’t call her a graffiti artist.
“We prefer aerosol artist or urban artist so people don’t get the wrong idea,” she explained.
“It takes a lot of dedication to get good at it – I’ve been doing it for 14 years.”
You have probably seen some of Lynsey’s art around Cleethorpes, as the council often enlists her to brighten up walls or car parks with her colourful work.
She also decorates Damien’s skateboards, and will soon be giving Emporium 53’s shutters a new lick of paint.
“A college student won a competition to pick the design for them, so I’ll be helping her to put it on and teach her the basics of aerosol art,” she said.