When I was writing about the Mintons tiles the other day I started to think about my relatives who had been involved creatively in the pottery industry in the art deco period. Susie Cooper's (in the photo) designs are really collectable now and my grandmother Ursula Cooper was her second cousin. My grandfather Reginald Colclough had many artisic sisters who attended Burslem Art School in the potteries and created designs for famous companies like Wedgewood. The sisters all had wonderful names - Jessie, Gertie, Beattie and Alicia. One of my most treasured inheritances is this plate designed by Alicia in 1930 using a Wedgewood plate as a base for the design. The colours are still very vibrant and the patterns seem so very contemporary.
Sunday, 9 January 2011
These beautiful Victorian tiles were produced by Mintons in Stoke-On-Trent. I have a real passion for pottery and its history. My grandfather worked in a 'potbank' for a while and my great aunts were designers in the potteries. These tiles originally decorated the hallways of houses and public buildings but they now look fantastic on a table with a pot of tea on them! I am always on the look out for originals.
Thursday, 6 January 2011
The other evening I spent a very enjoyable evening looking through the hundreds of books published via Blurb. There are some staggeringly beautiful creations and I plan to make a cookery book of the popular cakes, sold at the allotment cafe this year,
This is the stunning work of Su Blackwell who makes intricate art from every-day objects, transforming clothes and books into fantastical three-dimensional forms. Using a scalpel she cuts and glues the pages of books to create miniature dioramas glowing with lights in wood and glass boxes. She finds her books by searching through second-hand book shops. She always reads the book first and this in turn inspires the work. In these impressive works it looks like the models are actually growing out of the spine of the book. I find the book of wild flowers totally inspiring. It makes me think of the plans I have to create a wild flower haven on part of my allotment this year but first I have to start the weeding!
Monday, 3 January 2011
I have just returned from a lovely outing to Petersham Nurseries with my friend who has her creative home at http://kristinasjollyhockeysticks.blogspot.com/ We have very similar tastes and are inspired by many of the same things. We both really love visits to Petersham Nurseries which is a rare mix of restaurant, garden emporium and style boutique! It is a totally photogenic place which is often used as a location for fashion shoots. Every corner has something beautiful in it from hessian bags, garden tools, rare candles and delicate Murano glass. Today's pictures were taken by my son Stanley and at only 12 he has a keen eye for a beautiful image. We feasted on fish pie, chocolate cake, flapjacks and carrot cake whilst making plans to enjoy spending more time together in 2011.
Saturday, 1 January 2011
Grainne Morton is an artistic magpie. She collects various bits and pieces which may have been discarded and long forgotten. She rescues beautiful old buttons, jewels and gems and creates wonderful pieces like these brooches. There is a real nostalgia in these works of art and I would love to own one! Apparently it was an artistic aunt who inspired Grainne and a childhood filled with lots of craft activity. Now where is my button box?
These exquisite shoes are the work of Candace Bahouth who is originally from the Lebanon but has lived in the U.K for 30 years. She is famed for her tapestry designs but equally for her quirky use of mosaic. The tiny little china flowers really remind me of the Staffordshire Wedgewood china flowers that used to decorate the window sill of my grandmother's house.