Friday, 31 October 2014

I don't know - The weave of textile language. Richard Tuttle


I don't Know - The Weave of Textile Landscape, by Richard Tuttle in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern.

I have seen all the installations in the Turbine Hall since Tate Modern opened. This is the first time I was disappointed.

Jonathan Jones wrote in the Guardian that this installation 'is lovely and forgettable'. I think he was being very generous.


There is really nothing more I would want to say about this. The photographs speak for themselves.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Oxford Ceramics Fair, 2014

Oxford Ceramics Fair, October 2014.
That time of year again....
Jack Doherty:
The vessels are thrown and soda-fired. The thin layer of liquid porcelain that is applied on the surface has copper carbonate added as the single colouring material. Only one firing is required. Soda firing involves mixing sodium bicarbonate with water, which is then sprayer into the kiln during firing at high temperature. The resulting vapour is drawn through the kiln chamber where it reacts with the silica and alumina present in the clay, creating this rich patina of surface texture and colour. Doherty's vessels are extremely beautiful.



Eddie Curtis:




Curtis' vessel used to predominantly have a very rich, very distinctive red, a copper red glaze. In a fully oxidised firing the copper glaze would take on a green colour, which if successfully controlled, would become a beautiful and highly prized shade of red in a reduction firing.
There wasn't one single red vessel on the stall this year. In its stead various shades of white with lovely pink hues and some black. I commented on the absence of the distinctive red and he said that he thinks he might never return to it, as he likes his present work so much. I have to say that I agree with him - the current work is stunning. 




Antonia Salmon:

Hand burnished and smoke fired ceramic vessels and sculpture.

Ben Davies:


Sue Paraskeva: 
I have posted on Sue Paraskeva's work before and you can see it here. Paraskeva throws bowls on the wheel then takes a piece of wood, brushes it with oxides and then proceeds to 'attack' the still wet clay bowls with it. You can see the results below:



Ingrid Saag:


Yo Thom:

Akiko Hirai:

The Moon Jar
Kate Braida:






Joanna Howells:

I thought the price tags merited a photograph...

James Hake:



Saturday, 25 October 2014

Autumn in Upton House

A visit to Upton House, the country home of a millionaire in the 1930s and a National Trust property today.

The battle of Edgehill was fought just 1 mile from Upton, so a Civil War Camp was established in the grounds, just for this weekend.


The battle of Edgehill was the first pitched battle of the First English Civil War - its inconclusive result prevented either faction gaining a quick victory in the war which eventually lasted four years.

The smells coming out of the cauldron were enticing

and lots more food was being prepared.


Basket weaving was in progress

and there's always time for a well-deserved rest and for pipe smoking
and a hold and cuddle are always welcome.


We walked along the big avenue, got to the back of the house and reached the big lawn at the end of which is the ha ha

the house

We stood on the bricks at the edge of the ha ha and looked down the big drop to the vegetable garden and the mirror pool beyond

zooming in

I suddenly heard gun shots and dogs barking. My heart sank. I looked across the mirror pool to the field that borders the grounds and my suspicions were confirmed. A hunt. The folly, selfishness and sense of entitlement of these arrogant, cruel people made my blood boil and I felt so sorry for the poor fox ...

By the mirror pool is a beautifully trimmed hedge that is so perfect it looks unreal

A last look at the honey-coloured, mellow stone of the house

before taking the path down to the small pool and the bog garden


wonderful roots of this old tree - and what about the luminous colour of the grass?

looking closer.

The small pool

with lots of golden carp

The bog garden area was closed to visitors

 a sign said 'stop and admire', so we did

the richness of autumn colours is such a joy at this time of year


looking back at the path we had just taken

Looking up at the steps that lead to the ha ha and eventually the house

lots to see in the vegetable garden


The mirror pool is not at its best at the moment. It's in the process of being drained at the moment.