Snooker, Sheffield and Stereotypes

The Snooker World Championship is at the halfway mark, with just one more week to go. The tournament is held each year in my hometown of Sheffield, at the historic Crucible Theatre – home to the event for the past 40 years!

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There’s always a special atmosphere about the city while the championship is under way, and I like to think us Sheffield folk give a warm welcome to all the snooker-loving visitors we receive over the two week period.

Another proud Sheffield tradition is our history of craftsmanship; from the original silversmiths to the modern-day craft community (the biggest per capita of any city in the UK!) As a local crafter myself, I’m lucky enough to be a part of the Sheffield Makers Shop – a collective of local artists based in the heart of the city, in the Winter Gardens…which just happens to be in stumbling distance of the Crucible Theatre.

So, given this, I thought I’d bring together the proud Steel City traditions of both snooker and craft, into one unique design, specially made for the Sheffield Makers Shop. I wanted the design to be light-hearted, and to celebrate the quirky, fun side of Sheffield; if there’s one thing Sheffield is not, it’s pretentious, and we’re never reluctant to take the mick out of ourselves!

My design began, as most of them do, with a sketch of a dog, on this occasion a Whippet, as I wanted to create a print inspired by the good, old Sheffield stereotype of an old man, with a whippet and a flat cap!

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Original Sketch

I used this sketch to create my own hand-carved block prints:

whippet print 4

I then used these block cuts to print a limited run of original art prints – each one printed by hand :

crucible prints 2

I also decided to make some double-sided, hand-printed wooden tags – so visiting snooker fans could take home a little memento, both of their Crucible experience, and their visit to the Steel City of Sheffield!

crucible tag.jpg

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