It was half-term last week so I headed to Wales to visit my parents. Whilst there I visited the gallery in Carmarthen.http://www.orielmyrddingallery.co.uk/
The exhibition last week was the Jerwood Makers Open. One of the exhibitors was William Shannon who had set himself the brief to create a workshop for an imaginary potter. Just the mention of pottery had me hooked. The accompanying programme said that this imaginary potter 'has limited resources (as potters tend to).'
The outcome was delightful and I'm sure some of us might like a pocket sized raku studio. Glenn Adamson ( Head of Research at the V and A) who wrote the accompanying essay, suggests that the experiment is 'entirely absurd, or at least symbolic...Symbolically, it is a miniature temple to self-reliance. In practice he could never have made it without the support of the Jerwood Maker's Open'.
To some extent I can see his point. William had made tiles for the exterior of the studio by raku firing tiles. On that scale a slow process. After all if you want individually hand made hung tiles you go to my friend at Babylon Tile Works. Just see the rows of tiles he produces below. However, I found it quite encouraging to think that people are looking at the idea of producing from locally sourced materials and being self-sufficient.
I was tempted to start 'playing ' with the tools and materials but I don't think it was meant to be inter-active.
I take 'The World of Interiors' magazine. In one of the issues it had mentioned an antique shop that shows Welsh pottery. That was enough for me - I was off in search of Tim Bowen Antiques. I was not disappointed. He had a wonderful collection of slipware from Buckley. I think it's joyful, lively and fresh looking. So simple yet with it's treacle, honey and amber colours warm and practical. Of course the use of script on it is also of interest to me.
Tomorrow I'm off to hear a talk by Alison Britton at The Crafts Study Centre in Farnham. On the one hand I feel I cann't afford to take any time off work but I also feel I need to get out of the studio every now and again and expose myself to other influences.