Away and back again – again.

I admit I got rather excited as we drove over Tower Bridge last sunday morning. It had been a long drive from Galloway down to London with Amanda who was exhibiting at Origin. I haven’t ever been over that bridge, I probably caused Amanda mortal embarrassment by taking a picture as we were driving along. It is an impressive beast of a bridge though you have to admit.

The morning after the set up and before the opening (which helpers weren’t allowed into we discovered when we got there – eeek alone in London with no immediate plans!) we had a late start and a big fat breakfast to set us up for the rest of the day. After that all we needed was sleep.
I don’t have any pictures of Amanda’s stand but you can see it on her blog. There were a few visitors to the stand that seemed to recognise me but were obviously confused by seeing me with a stand full of glass. I quite enjoyed myself, it’s far easier to sing the praises of someone elses work than it is of your own and Amanda’s work is so fabulous that I couldn’t stop myself.

No surprises that I went back to the V & A museum again. The world ceramics part was closed, what is it with me and visiting places that are closed when I get there? The show in Contemporary Applied Arts was shut too though they were huge Felicity Ayliffe pots that I could see reasonably well from the entrance.

Linda Bloomfield was also exhibiting at Origin and she invited me back for dinner one night. Thanks Linda, I had a lovely time. It was great to see Linda’s neat and tidy studio tucked away in her back garden, you’d never know it was there and that there was all that activity going on inside it. Hope you had a good Origin.

Linda had a quince tree in her garden, in fact we ate some in a crumble for dinner. I’ve never seen quinces before, I don’t know what I was expecting, I think I was expecting more of a fig type thing, not a furry hard pear.
Speaking of quince, the following day I had the pleasure of meeting a certain Mary Queen of Slipware Wondrausch. When I met her at Oxford last year she had invited me to come and visit her at home, so as I was in London for a while and she is but a short train ride south I thought I would take her up on the offer. Honestly what a treat! Maybe so much alcohol at such an early time in the day isn’t quite my usual habit and then being urged to pick up some very old and very special pots, phew quite intensely nerve wracking. If you have seen the Brickfields book which is about her house you will have a feel of what to expect but it is all that and more when you really see it. Mary met me at the station covered in clay as she had been throwing and unpacking a kiln that morning. I hope I can still be potting at that age, I think she’s 86 at the moment. Full of stories and information and tales about pots and potters I have no idea what she thought about me, heaven knows but it was fabulous to spend some time with her as so much of what I do comes in a round about way from her. Jason who I worked my apprenticeship for trained with Mary about 30 or so years ago so it’s a bit of a family tree. There was a beautiful little ink and wash sketch on the table in the conservatory where we had lunch, such a simple but lovely drawing. I really must start to spend some more time on drawing and looking I don’t do it nearly enough at the moment but I should.
I was too much in awe and too scared to even think of asking to take any photographs but I did spend the journey back to London trying to remember and draw the pots that I had looked at and loved.

Back to this today, a relief from the hectic city life I have been living recently. I have ‘to do’ lists that have been reproducing while I have been away and a slight panic when I looked at just what I have top make in the next couple of weeks so I was in and making today on a gorgeous autumn day with the sun low in the sky casting fabulous shadows in the workshop.

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5 Responses to Away and back again – again.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Mary, lives quite near where another mary lived. This lady was called Mary Watts who started a pottery at Compton. Anyone who is that area , visit the Watts gallery pictures and pots.Sounds like you had a good time in the smoke.Tim

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi Hannah,Looks like you had a great weekend, Sue is V jealous about the MQSW visit, we have the book, and have chatted to her a few times, but would love to visit. Thanks for thr card, we have been thinking about tiles, and will probably want a panel from you with an oak tree for over the rayburn, but we need to save up a bit yet….Dave & Sue x

  3. ang says:

    that's one big breaky H….did ya manage it?

  4. Dan Finnegan says:

    What a great blog, Hannah. And while I am the world's biggest Anglophile, I've never been able to comprehend the full English breakfast. It is scarey!

  5. Helen says:

    I heard from a lady studying ceramics at the V&A who I sold a book on English Porcelain to via Amazon marketplace (sharp intake of breath!) that a light fell from the ceiling of the ceramics gallery when they were on a tour and they were promptly ushered out by Health & Safety!

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