Posts Tagged ‘apples’

Parlours of heaven

October 8, 2010

The long slanting light and the wild beauty of the heath and hedgerows at this time of year always yields a fruitful inspiration for my work. This blackberry bowl has a characteristically visionary inscription by Walt Whitman (from Leaves of Grass), celebrating the extraordinary beauty and significance of the common natural things that surround us, a view he shares with so many of my favourite writers, including John Clare, Vita Sackville West, Virginia Woolf, Kathleen Raine, and so on.

This small plate (8″ across) is the October plate in my 12 piece dinner service from John Clare’s Shepherd’s Calendar, which has a plate or bowl for each month of the year with inscriptions from each month’s poem. (I’ll be showing this large group of pots in my first post of the year next year, January 2011.) I particularly like painting blackberries; the shining ripe fruits, the prickly twigs and the light through the leaves. The text here is painted freehand with a brush in a rich dark brown mix of underglaze oxides, fired with a clear glaze.

This apple bowl also has a lovely text from John Clare:

Where blushing apples round and red

Load down the boughs and pat the head

For more information about fruit bowls, Autumn pots or any of my work, please leave me a note in the comments box below, or click on contact details for other ways to get in touch.

Hail, sweet Autumn

September 23, 2010

Although we cling to the last of the summer, the Autumn equinox seems a good day to acknowledge the turning of the season, so in John Clare’s words:

Sweet Autumn I thee hail with welcome

But we have a few hot days left before the leaves start to fall, like yesterday, and these late summer days have brought an extravagant flowering everywhere, including on the pots. I had intended this month’s pots to be a bit more autumnal, but somehow they’re covered in flowers among the early Worcesters:

The text on this one is by Ben Jonson:

Then hath thy Orchard fruit, thy Garden flowers

Fresh as the air, and new as are the hours.

I like to make flower jars that look just as good empty, providing a reminder of the midsummer profusion even when filled only with the idea of flowers:

The morning glory jar on the left has a lovely text by John Clare:

Round field hedge now flowers in full glory twine

And the fruit bowls muddle the plums and damsons up with blue-eyed grass and larkspur:

The text on this one’s by Dryden:

Green fields and songful groves and flowers and fruit

and it’s decorated with blue-eyed grass and cornflowers for the green fields, larkspur for the songful groves, lavender (of course) for the flowers and plums and damsons for the fruit.

Perhaps by the time next month’s pots come out I’ll have accepted the idea of Autumn, and it will ‘come laden home with apples’ (Boethius, translated by Helen Waddell) – there’s always cider to consider, after all.

The Earth is making merry, and so I think must I

(Marbod of Rennes, translated by Helen Waddell)

All these pots are signed one-offs, and for sale, from £35 for the little buttercup jar, to £250 for the large Orchard bowl. If you’d like more information, please leave me a note in the comments box below, or click here for contact details and other ways to get in touch.