Saturday, 20 December 2014

UPCOMING - Christmas 2014

Merry Christmas for 2014, this years Christmas Card is 'Jesanta the Redeemer' aka. Santesus...

Monday, 15 December 2014

AA2A 'PLUS' - Back into the Art Gallery stores

I've been thinking a little about my first visit to the ceramic stores at the end of November. I was really drawn to the Thomas Toft piece which I mentioned in a previous blog post, this got me researching more work by and the history of Thomas Toft and his contemporaries. Of this style I particularly like the slipware chargers. I seem to be heavily drawn to the charger form at the moment... it's like a ceramic blank canvas waiting to be tackled with various decorative techniques. With this in mind when I had my second visit to the York Art Gallery's ceramic stores on Monday I was keen to unearth a selection of chargers and plates. I was interested to find out of they had any majolica or Delftware plates. I was in for a treat as I dug around in the mass of plate boxes and pulled out some of these inspiring chargers...

YORYM:2000.2674 - Delftware Charger, King William III on Horseback

YORYM:2000.3336 - Slipware Charger, Virgin Mary

YORYM:2000.2672 - Delftware Charger, Queen Anne

YORYM:2004.11968 - Kiity Shepherd, 1997


YORYM:2000.2677 - Delftware charger, Adam & Eve

I've just searched google for 'English delftware chargers', this interesting quote has come up on Wikipedia...

Blue-dash chargers, usually between about 25 and 35 cm in diameter with abstract, floral, religious, patriotic or topographical motifs, were produced in quantity by London and Bristol potters until the early 18th century. As they were kept for decoration on walls, dressers and side-tables, many have survived and they are well represented in museum collections.
One of the most popular decorations on the blue-dash charger was a representation of Adam and Eve with the serpent in the Garden of Eden, produced from the 1630s to the 1730s. "The challenge of rendering the anatomy of Adam and Eve was inescapable, and as the subject became more and more freely repeated by painters of less and less competence, most of the anatomy gave trouble, particularly Adam's abdominal muscles, which eventually became grotesque and could not be wholly covered by his fig-leaf." In later examples, "the images had declined to the level of coloured graffiti; Adam and Eve were cave dwellers, the Tree had become a mere cipher and only the serpent and the fruit proved simple enough to survive debasement."[3]

Funnily enough it's the naive style I seem to be drawn to in these chargers, I'm becoming more and more inspired by folk art and the naive style as well as outsider art. 

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

AA2A PLUS - First Visit to York Museums Trust's Stores

At the end of last month I managed to spend a couple of hours in York Art Gallery's 'top secret' ceramic store warehouse. It was quite a bombardment of the senses as I took in a diverse range of studio ceramics. I'm trying to focus in on one object that will inspire a new body of work. I'm unsure at the moment what direction that work will take but I have an inkling that it might be focusing on surface decoration as this is an area of investigation I am keen to revisit soon. My initial visit didn't manage to come up with any conclusive object which I could respond to, although there were a few items which caught my eye and I have been pondering since.

Among these objects was a fascinating Masons pot (YORYM:2001.427) this was made by John and Christopher Potter in between WW1 & WW2 in Staffordshire (Wedgwood), it's a large earthenware vase of a flattened disc shape with a tall foot. It's decorated around the shoulder with a landscape and Gothic castle, painted in colours over the glaze. The waist has a band of inscription painted in black which reads... I was painted by Alfred Powell for Omar Ramsden & Anne his wife of St. Dunstan's London S.W.  A.S.  MCMXXVIII. The underside is decorated with an underwater scene of fish in blue, green and silver. The tall foot is decorated with panels of floral decoration in gilt, red, green and blue.

A Mason's Pot. York Art Gallery Stores

An iconic piece of Thomas Toft slipware also caught my eye, there have already been many modern interpretations on his work including the late Bernard Leach. However, I can't resist the folk art feel and absolutely love his plates. He is well known for the plate of King Charles II (unfortunately not in York's collection!), maybe I could respond with a comment on the current debate over Richard III bones

Thomas Toft slipware - York Art Gallery Stores.

Thomas Toft - Charles II.
Bernard Leach.

There was also some lovely William De Morgan lustreware, I would love to explore lustreware a little as I think I may be a magpie... anything that is shiny! I also love his repetitive designs.

William De Morgan Lustreware, York Art Gallery stores.

I still have lots to ponder from my first visit to the stores and a stash of photos to take in. I can't wait to get into the stores again to have another look around. There were masses of goodies boxed away, I'd love to get unearthing some of the hidden treaures... 

Sunday, 7 December 2014

TUREEN HEADS - Ideal Christmas Presents

Karen Thompson - Tureen Heads (Ceramic). Photo: David Chalmers.

Selling out fast are the Tureen Heads in the Biscuit Factory in Newcastle... Get yourself along there to grab one of the last ones before Christmas... They are also available in Angela & Rosie's in Scarborough, 108 Fine Art in Harrogate and the Margate Gallery.