Monday, 25 June 2012


On Sunday afternoon I had the pleasure of meeting The Baroness Carrie Reichardt. Her title is used ironically and has a connection with the last Tsar of Russia, who made her grandfather an honorary general for helping the allied forces in WW1. Carrie studied fine art at Leeds Metropolitan University. Much to the horror of her tutors she was awarded a first by the external examiners. Carrie's artistic talents took flight in the form of mosaics and in 2000 the Baroness decided to transform her home into  a living work of art called the Treatment Rooms.  It was really great chatting away to Carrie and her enthusiasm was infectious. She told me she is a craftivist. She is certainly passionate and we both bemoaned the demise of the Stoke-On-Trent pottery industry, destroyed by cheap Chinese imports masquerading as made in England, under the banner of old pottery names. Carrie even showed me her bathroom which was like the most beautiful ceramic museum, each tile in the room with a transfer long discontinued. It was stunning. She is also well known for her anarchic crockery where vintage pieces are given a new twist often with radical political statements.  One powerful recent commission is dedicated to Mary Bamber a radical suffragette. It is a truly moving piece and Carrie explained it records the contribution of many suffragettes who otherwise would be forgotten and lost forever. Thank goodness for people like Carrie who are using art to help bring about positive change and keep the stories of brave and important people alive.

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