The current issue of Elle Decoration has an article on Lucille Lewin’s (founder of Whistles) home in London. So far so tasteful. In the accompanying text she tells of her being in the midst of training to be a potter. I have a family background that is heavily ceramic focussed, so my interest is always piqued both by the end products and also by the people who choose to pot. My great grandfather worked in the potteries; namely for Barker Bros a company based in Longton and founded in 1876. His son, my grandfather, also worked in ceramics . . . industrial ceramics at Armitage Shanks; the knowledge and skills he gleaned through his tenure making sanitary wares were later put to use in semi retirement when he was the person who made blue plaques (between 1982 and 1994) in his garage . . . first for GLC and then for English Heritage. My mother also had a kiln . . . and I have a hankering for one.
Following the success of his memoir, The Hare With Amber Eyes, Phaidon have recently published Edmund de Waal’s The Pot Book – a huge coffee table book that one reviewer on Amazon suggests might require coffee table strengthening. A catalogue of great bits of potting through the ages it spans the breadth of fine pottery, country potting and craft pottery. A feast.
Rupert Spira bowl in the Sainsbury Centre Collection
Justine Allison – vertical line glazed vessels.
James and Tilla Waters – beakers
Sunderland lustre ware plaque
Brickett Davda – rice bowl
Paul Spence slipware charger
Hans Coper vessel in the Sainsbury Centre collection
Kirsten Coelho ceramics
Lucy Rie bowl – again in the Sainsbury Centre collection
Stuart Houghton – pinch jugs