Archive for ceramics

Posting from the interstice.

Posted in Great Danes, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 9, 2013 by pimpmybricks

Yodel Doodle Ladies and Gents

There hasn’t been a ceramics post in a long while on the blog.  Now seems a good time to remedy that, while all things Regency Wreckish are slumped in a bit of a waiting ditch and marking time until the wind shifts and brings change.  I find this clip quite beautiful and magical, for all its ear extensions, bike stands and doing of things one just doesn’t do.  The music sends me into a bit of a swoon and the film making is lovely.

See it here Moire

Neither have the Herberts been receiving their rightful allotted fifteen minutes worth, so let’s put that to rights too.  Or at least let’s give Remington his go, since Miss Elsie is still too harem scarem to stand still long enough to have her photo taken.  First, though, let me introduce you to The Ralph, Rems’ younger brother in all but genes and geography.  Here he is in a park in London, handsome and sleek as a seal:


The last couple of times we’ve been back in London I’ve been able to assuage my Remington withdrawals by fondling another Great Dane’s ears, Danes being great natural schmoozers and all.  The truly wonderful thing about Ralph is that he comes fully equipped with two people whom I met through the blog (one of the very best things to come out of it), and about whom all I shall say is that they are both utterly delicious and live in an utterly delicious house in Spitalfields.

And I was so taken with Ralph’s beautiful orange collar (and so taken by the colour orange in general), that I took myself off to Harrods and bought Mr Big something a little similar of his own.  (I then went to Istanbul on the way home and treated myself to a bright orange bag so that when we’re off shopping together, we do look a little….shall we say…accessorised.  But neither of us is particularly fussed about that):



Miss Elsie, who prefers pink, in a rare moment of repose:

And perhaps, having mentioned Istanbul, I’ll end this somewhat mishmash post with a couple of rugs we fell in love with while we were there, but which, at $12,000 a pop, we were obliged to leave behind.  The first two are samples of a new (to me at any rate) deconstructed design.  We’re seeing them pop up more and more here in Uh Straya at what I believe they call ‘high end’ outlets.  Interestingly enough, the prices here are comparable to the prices there, a symptom, maybe, of America having banned the import of Persian carpets, and the price of Turkish pieces shooting up accordingly.  Either way, these were beautiful carpets, silk on cotton, but I suspect that they, like the patched and over-dyed rugs, will date quite quickly:



Below we have the old Pimperstich, fingering an eye-wateringly beautiful Memluk.  Oh, the conversations we had over mint tea about whether we should or shouldn’t, could or couldn’t.   Until we eventually decided that we shouldn’t and couldn’t.  And didn’t. But oh, woe.  We were still revisiting the whole thing at the airport! Actually, one main reason we didn’t, apart from, you know, the old spondoolicks, was that we have nowhere to put it.  These rugs don’t just lie there quietly and think of Turkey, they are voluble, loquacious personalities and they demand attention.  I don’t think I’ve outed Mr P before, but he has what might politely be termed a bit of a carpet fetish.  At the farm we have a 60 foot shed and in that shed we have a rather embarrassingly large number of carpets that positively insisted on being bought, only to arrive and find there was no (immediate) home for them. Another thing about fetishes I didn’t know, and maybe you don’t either, is that they’re contagious.  Really!  I didn’t used to have one for carpets, but as surely as eggs is eggs, I do now.  And doors.  But that’s another story.  Anyway, the Memluk:



I’m thinking just a few photos of Istanbul, outside of the carpet shops, where we did on occasion manage to drag ourselves.  I hesitate to post too many because it was rather an embarrassingly long time ago, but I take heart from Blogland being a place where the mountains of time are levelled into a horizon of the perpetual present.  So, the Spice Market, where I discovered, to my absolute joy, that I could buy Amber in liquid form (and only aficionados of Istanbul and Marrakesh will recognise that I smell of moth repellent):



And the Hagia Sophia, because how could I not include that? When Mr P told me it was built in 500AD I thought he had his figures wrong, and had casually left out ten centuries.  Because, you know, being English, I’m used to old places being from about the 15th century.  But actually, he was absolutely correct.  As he often is, for the record.

Istabul was a funny old place.  I had not managed to hear one word said against it before we arrived.  And yet it took time to captivate us.  It was a vast, working city which didn’t just crack open and fall into two neat halves, for the digestive convenience of its visitors.  You had to work at it a bit.  You had to get beneath the blare and the noise and the crowds.  And when you did, then you realised (or I did), that you were somewhere really rather ancient and really rather unlike anywhere you’d been before.  Because there is the modern city which overlays the Ottoman city, which overlays the Byzantine city, which in turn overlays the Roman city.   Much in the way of a vast, urban layer cake, it seemed to me. And there was a very definite three-dimensional sense of this too – go through the basements of some old houses and you’ll find yourselves wandering ancient streets down there.  We visited some astonishing Roman mosaic pavements.  There was always a sense that if you dug down just a little, you’d literally be digging through the centuries.  Anyway, enough waffling.  The Hagia Sophia:


I was extremely taken with these lights.  Actually, I was madly plotting how they could be re-imagined in porcelain.  Because if you stand still for more than thirty seconds in front of me these days I’ll be re-imagining you in porcelain too:



There are many more, but considering I only stopped by to post the ceramics clip, I’ve bumbled on for long enough.  And so I’ll leave you, Mrs Woodentop in her dressing gown still, with Spotty Dog at her feet twitching and whimpering in one of those impenetrable doggy dreams. Adieu!  There will be house happenings soon.

Dem bones

Posted in ceramics, Inspiration with tags , , , , , on November 5, 2011 by pimpmybricks

In my quest for ever more esculent ceramic work I came across this duo today – an English and a Dutch designer who met at The Royal College of Art in London. They call themselves Glithero, which I wish they hadn’t, because it’s somehow a dissonant word.   Not sure what I’d call them – artists/designers/performance artists?  They make chandeliers from wax, flammable paint installations, candles made by a serenely beautiful ceiling mechanism that lowers wick into molten wax.  They say of themselves that they aim ” to capture and present the beauty in the moment things are made” and if you visit their website you’ll see what they mean.

My favourite thing of all is their cyan ware – an ancient Dutch/English technique which allows them to imprint the silhouettes of weeds found in central london on ceramic pieces.

Or see here – a vimeo clip of them making a blue ware vase.  Oddly beautiful. And the circular and rather strange piece of music melted my bones and poured them, molten, into a dreaming pool.

Fenella Elms.

Posted in digressions, Inspiration with tags on April 17, 2011 by pimpmybricks

I’ve been enamoured of Fenella Elms’ ceramics for a while now.  They induce in me a yearning to float away, to eat them, to possess them, to squeeze the living daylights out of them. Really.

And when I discovered today that she too has done a psychoanalytical training and moved on from it, something made sense.  But not in a wordy way.  In the way of a door opening where there was only wall. 

This is what she says: “I undertook a psychoanalytical training and noticed that artists use the same language when describing the process.  There is a similar mindfulness; attending to the underneath and enabling what is hidden to emerge; forming new patterns in the apparent.  I worked in particular with groups in which the interaction of several awakened the individual: I notice that I cannot make something with just one part.” And I notice she takes the best of psychoanalysis and makes of it something luminous and fluid and alive.  It gives an old troglodyte who is still rolling in the mud a splash of hope to take in her tea!

And of her work: “I don’t take inspiration as literally as I think some do: I don’t sit down to make something that has a fixed link.  For example, even if I were given a brief, I would let it settle in my mind, consciously reminding myself of it and letting it influence my experiences for a few weeks and then when I go to make, I put the preparation away and try to act as a conduit for those experiences to emerge: I am alive to the possibilities but try not to interfere.  I am always interested in the resulting work but not surprised – it has a fresh familiarity; a new look at something very known.”

Oh, and I learned last week that The Architect is also taking a ceramics course.  So there you are.  Where?  There, of course.

I think of death it calms me down.

Posted in digressions with tags , , on April 9, 2011 by pimpmybricks

I have just returned from a day’s potting, and I am bent over like Quasimodo.  Over the last eight weeks, on a Monday night, I have struggled and laboured to make eight mugs of similar size and shape.  They are done and they resemble elephant’s feet with jug-ears. Maybe I had in mind something more along the lines of Rachel Kneebone’s exquisite grotesqueries, like Meissen confections of death and sadness and sex.  The titles are like short poems.  Almost enough in themselves.

The Descent

I know beauty through fear.

Eyes that look closely at wounds themselves are wounded.

I think of death it calms me down.

I will console myself with the fact that you can’t drink coffee out of them.