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... 

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