Saturday, March 12

What can we do?

 I'm sitting here in my safe environment,  living as I learnt at school, in this "temperate land",
I don't know what to do.
There are lots of poems being written at the moment about the Japanese tragedy.  And some are very moving.   I started to put one together myself.
People are philosophising about whether it is significant in the short or the long term future of this earth that we all inhabit.

I'm drawn to Hokusai's wonderful but terrible painting of The Great Wave.
The fragile tiny boat, the size of the wave, the beauty of Mount Fuji in the backround.

Ben Macintyre writes very insightfully in the Times today about this painting and what lies behind it.

I have a painting which I bought some time ago from an Irish artist called Veronica Wallis, and it's simply a woman's handbag, of the Margaret Thatcher type. On the front is a copy of Hokusai's wave.
 Every thing in the painting is 21st C.
Bright saturated colour, simple image of a Craig-Martin type....
.... and then this wave.

I've thought about the earth and how fragile it is and therefore how fragile we are as well.
We move through our every day existence.... like the hand bag!
And the wave is there to remind us ....we are all in this together.
I am but one, but I am one.
I cannot do everything, but I can do something.
What I can do, I ought to do.
What I ought to do, by the grace of God I will do.
Did Sting get it right all those years ago with his song.."Fragile"?

[ The verse was posted today by..." prayers for the oft travelled road .]

Thursday, March 10

One Year On.

This week marks the first year of blogging for me.
Oh my intake of breath!

I can't believe how fast the year has flown.
Or how much has happened within it.
Exciting or what!

I had a  post called "A Poem for Thursday" and it was good to have an outlet for stuff that had been accumulating in scruffy notebooks for years ..But  I've decided that I'm going to give it a miss for a while.

 So I've been thinking that it would be good to post some art and craft, from the rest of the  family here at The Potters House Penketh.

Ben.....son.. ...

married to Tina, 

with three children...

.....studied at a college in Oxfordshire called Ryecote Wood.
It's an agricultural and cabinet-making college, and during his time there he produced some wonderful pieces of furniture.
But the banks of the Mersey are not the best area to try to set up a cabinet-making business...that is not without a big financial backing!
So with marriage, responsibilities and  more mouths to feed, he specialised within that world in the I.T. and design side.
But I thought it would be good to put up a piece of his cabinet-making skill. 

I think that this type of table is called a tilt top.
I should probably have asked him about it at dinner last evening!
The top can be turned up to be placed flat against a wall.
It's mahogany...that much I know.
I love the simple traditional form that he choose for this.
It sits in the lounge with an old silver lamp from my parents family home.
The two go well together.

Just like Ben and Tina!

Wednesday, March 9

Weekend Cache.

A piece of drift wood
An Edwardian mirror from my favourite charity shop...
And a painting from the weekend workshop.
Successful three days.

I'll clean up the frame of the mirror and patch the broken bits.
Mount and frame the painting.
And add the driftwood to the ever growing collection of wonderful shapes.

Happiness doesn't take much...does it?

Tuesday, March 8

Students at The Potters House.

It's good sometimes to have  new perspectives and fresh ideas brought to the classes.
Last week two young students from a college in the north of Lancashire, spent time with us in the studios.
From Capernwray Hall winter school, came an American girl and an Irish girl.
Both already have had experience in art college .
It was interesting to watch and see what they would come up with in the short time that they had with us.

Rachel from Ireland,  has a Master's degree in art.

This is the beginning of a landscape pot constructed by coiling the clay.
Eventually it is brought into a narrow opening before the modelling is added on.

Now the surface has been knocked and smoothed into a perfect gourd-type shape.

Emily  formed a slab pot by placing it around  a weight to hold the shape until the clay firmed up enough to allow it to be removed.

Pattern was pressed on with wooden tools and clay modelled into the shape needed.

When the pots are bone dry they will be fired to biscuit and then glazed and fired once again to a higher temperature.

Here at The Potters House Penketh, we are always glad of a little something away from the hum-drum of everyday doings. So thankyou to them for brightening our week.....and hope to see you again maybe sometime!