Thank you

I’ve just reached 200 likes, so I just wanted to say thank you to all of my followers who have taken the time to read my blog and for the supportive comments. The sun has been shining again today so I thought I’d take some shots of what’s filling up the shelves in my studio – other than pots.

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Magpie {10}

Rye
Tin-glazed earthenware jug by David SharpRye Pottery

I found this little jug hiding in the corner of a stall at an antiques fair in Devon. It was covered in dust and looking rather unloved; but when I picked it up it was incredibly light, something I’ve always taken to be a good thing. So I haggled, bought it, took it home, washed it, and did a little research… It has the printed Rye Pottery backstamp on the base as well as a capital letter ‘D’ impressed next to it. I discovered that this means that it was thrown by David Sharp (the Pottery’s first apprentice) in 1956, but decorated the following year after he had left the pottery. £10 well spent.

Spark: ten

A series about people that have influenced my creative path

rie
Lucie Rie, footed bowl, porcelain, bronze rim, pink inlay, matt glaze, dia: c.22 cm, c.1980. Galerie Besson, London.

I will happily admit that I didn’t discover Lucie Rie (1902-1995) until my 30s, but following a trip to the V&A I’ve been quietly in awe of her ever since. The delicacy of her throwing, and her deceptively simple decoration and glazes have influenced many before me. I’ve almost finished reading Emmanuel Cooper’s beautiful and respectfully written biography of her – a fascinating read.

Breathtaking

machair

We’ve just come back from a lovely two weeks holiday and I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many wild flowers in my life… Red Clover, White Clover, Harebells, Ragged Robin, Kidney Vetch, Yellow Birds Foot Trefoil, Hawkweed, Ladies Bedstraw, Daisies and Buttercups. This is the Machair on North Uist – the flat grassy plains that lie just above the beaches. It’s incredibly fertile, and also allows cultivation of barley, oats, rye and potatoes. Just glorious.

Magpie {9}

hanne4  hanne2  hanne1  hanne3Porcelain vessels by Hanne Mannheimer and Alison Macleod

My husband’s cousin Alison gave us these as a wedding present. She is an extremely talented jeweller, and a collaboration with ceramicist Hanne produced this richly textured and decorated pair. I don’t think Alison knew me well enough at the time to realise but she couldn’t have chosen anything better.

 

Spark: nine

A series about people that have influenced my creative path

goodcasts
Lynda Brockbank, Mend, porcelain and plaster

When I went to my interview with Lynda Brockbank at Crescent Lodge Design in 1998 it was pouring with rain. Running the short distance from my car to the studio I got literally soaked. As I exited the lift Rodger (Lynda’s husband) kindly greeted me with a towel. So started a 12-year love affair with CLD. I only left my job as designer director when a combination of children and distance made it no longer possible to work there.

Lynda has a formidable pedigree… She is alumna of London College of Printing 1966, Chelsea College of Art and Design 2001, and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design 2005. She has worked at the BBC, Pentagram and Saint Martin’s School of Art. She founded CLD in 1986. We share a desire to make the extraordinary from the ordinary; and as a result, a strange love of turning dull text and data into beautiful typography and diagrams. Lynda also actively encouraged pursuing other interests in parallel to our graphic design work. She has a degree in Fine Art and an MA in philosophy, and it was while I was there that I restarted doing pottery with evening classes at Hackney Community College.

Magpie {8}

midwinter
Trend petrol blue earthenware jug, Midwinter Pottery, 1966

I’ve always had a strange love of rifling through bric-a-brac shops. Nowadays with two small children in tow I don’t get much of a chance. Their impatience reminds me of my similar childhood experiences of being dragged round antique shops by my parents – now the shoe is on the other foot. Recently I discovered this retro little number. It was the colour that won me over and I love the fluting. Now it sits by my wheel, full of all my brushes and tools, most days entirely splattered with clay.