Magpie {29}

BURNETTjulietmacleod2014
Slip cast porcelain mug with translucent diamond lathe cut surface, by Gavin Burnett

I snuck out from painting walls and sanding window frames yesterday to go to Glasshouse. It is a new two-day art, craft and design fair held in a large greenhouse not far from where we live in Aberdeen. There was a wonderful collection of things on show, but I was particularly pleased to see Gavin. He is the ceramics technician at Gray’s School of Art, and we met when I was doing my short course there. I’ve always liked his work so was glad of the chance to buy one of his lovely mugs from his ‘Make Tea’ range.

PS When adding the link for Gray’s I was surprised and chuffed to find a picture of some of my urchins on their website. I first made them when I was on my course there.

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Spark: twenty one

A series about people that have influenced my creative path

Fletcher
Lettering by Alan Fletcher (quote by Francis Picabia)
© Raffaella Fletcher and Fletcher Studios 2013

It’s funny how sometimes you feel like you know someone, even though you’ve never met them. Alan Fletcher (1931-2006) ‘the father figure of British graphic design*’ fell into this category for me. My old boss, Lynda Brockbank, worked with him at Pentagram and shares a similar rigorous approach to graphic design. His work is witty and timeless and I was reminded of it just the other day when I visited the V&A… he designed the symbol. I can’t think of the number of times I’ve leafed through his book The Art of Looking Sideways seeking inspiration.

Magpie {4}

macdonald
Porcelain vessel by Ishbel Macdonald

Last summer we hired a campervan and toured around the very north coast of Scotland. Along our way we discovered Balnakeil Craft Village in Sutherland. It’s an extraordinary place, once a MOD early warning station and now a creative community. Right in the far corner was Ishbel Macdonald’s studio. We had a great chat and I came away with one of her paintings and this tiny little pot.

Magpie {1}

unknown  unknownBase
Porcelain vessel with blue incised lines (bought from Burton Art Gallery, Bideford, Devon)

Whilst musing on my slow progress in becoming a potter I have come to realise that I have, somehow, managed to collect quite a number of beautiful pots over the years. Can anyone tell me who made this lovely one as I can’t for the life of me remember. It has a maker’s mark on the bottom which looks something like (o).

Please see 19 June 2013 update for further details

Spark: one

I wanted to start a series about people that have influenced my creative path.
So here is the first…

abramgames
Cover designed by Abram Games 1951; published by HMSO

Whilst I was at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art & Design, doing my foundation course, I went to an evening lecture. Abram Games (1914-1996) was the speaker. What he said and the work that he showed us was so inspirational it was to cement the course of my creative path for the next 25 years.

The pothy

You’re wondering what a pothy is I suppose. Well it’s not quite a pottery and not quite a bothy. Thanks to cousin Murdo for the name. So, what once was the scullery has now become the Pothy. With the arrival of the new wheel from Bath Potters’ Supplies I have set about emptying the room of all that was in it. I’m now waiting for the garden shed to implode under the weight of its additional contents. I was left with this…

oldroom1  oldroom2

Which after a great deal of scrubbing, wall and floor painting now looks like this…

newroom4

It’s small, but it should be fine for getting on with. I’m sharing the space with the boiler – so it’s nice and warm (maybe too warm when I get a kiln) the washing machine, and the fridge/freezer. I just need to fix some ware shelves to the back wall and I’ll be able to get going.

So now starts the steep learning curve. I enjoy the methodical nature of throwing but I’ve not had real experience of making repeat ware. I want to create things that people will want to use and keep. I know I’ll appreciate the rhythm of it and the required attention to detail is already in my blood. But as Geoffrey Whiting said ‘the first 30,000 pots are the worst’. I may be some time.