29 February 2012

A PIECE OF BLANC DE CHINE PORCELAIN IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM
























On a visit to the British Museum, London, this piece of blanc de Chine porcelain caught my eye. It represents a miniature garden, a plum tree in a rectangular bowl.  Miniature gardens like this are called penjing in China, the equivalent of the Japanese bonsai.

27 February 2012

NEW IDEAS AT CERAMIC ART LONDON

Anna Barlow's deliciously playful ceramic ice creams

Ceramic Art London, an exhibition of work by over 75 leading ceramists, was held at the Royal College of Art last weekend. The show, put on by The Craft Potters Association in partnership with Ceramic Review, has been running for several years and is one of the most important events in the ceramics calendar. Each artist's work is displayed on a stand a bit like a market stall and, although non-functional ceramics are strongly represented, there is no room for very large pieces or for installations.

For my money, these were some of the best exhibitors, whose work shows development and an engagement with new ideas.

13 February 2012

THE ART OF OPEN DOORS, MADEIRA
























Madeira, the flower island, popular with British pensioners, has gardens, volcanic scenery and a visible artistic community. The town of Funchal encourages public art and there are hideous sculptures along the marina promenade. Much more interesting is Arte Portas Abertas, the art of open doors, a recent initiative by Martinho Mendes in which residents of Funchal old town, along the Rua Santa Maria, have been encouraged to make their front doors into art works.

1 February 2012

EMMANUEL COOPER

Emmanuel Cooper (from Online Ceramics)























Emmanuel Cooper, one of the leading figures in British studio pottery, died recently at the age of 73.  He was the founding editor of Ceramic Review in 1970 and continued editing it until 2010.  He was a writer, teacher and curator as well as a potter and served the Craft Potters Association and the Crafts Council.