Archives for posts with tag: Pottery

NC BLOG Rose Lodge

Place is latitudinal and longitudinal within the map of a person’s life. It is temporal and spatial, personal and political. A layered location replete with human histories and memories, place has width as well as depth. It’s about emotions, what surrounds it, what formed it, what happened there, what will happen there.  Lucy Lippard, Lure of the Local; A Sense of Place.

My life without galleries would be hard to imagine but as a curator I look for alternative spaces to engage an audience. With a background as a theatre practitioner I have a strong awareness of storytelling and narrative reflected in the way I approach exhibition making.I am interested in the ‘theatre of space’ as a site for creating interventions and encounters. These itinerant places can be a catalyst for the unexpected making of new connections and discoveries. The interaction of objects within a physical space creates a dialogue with the viewer and informs the interpretation of the work.

A creative partnership with Irish potter Jack Doherty began with, A Place in the World 2012. Here a house, also our home, provided an architectural framework and a domestic context to explore ideas around the social life of objects. Waypoint is our third project together and it has been a delight to work in collaboration with the New Craftsman St Ives to showcase a new body of soda-fired porcelain vessels to create an exhibition extending beyond the boundary of the gallery to connect with key historic sites in St Ives.

Waypoint is presented in three contrasting locations; the ancient mariner’s chapels of St Nicholas and St Leonard and the fishermen’s shelters. These are places used every day by people whose lives are grounded in the community. By placing Doherty’s vessel forms within a specific site, the intention is to create a thoughtful space in which to view the work with sensitivity to the context of place. A sense of place and a personal journey are central to the exhibition. We navigate our way through life making tracks and leaving marks along the way. In his book the Old Ways Robert Macfarlane observes; a walk is only a step away from a story, and every path tells. He describes how paths connect and how ‘they relate places in a literal sense, and by extension they relate people.’

NC BLOG Blessing Cup

Jack Doherty is the last in a generation of seafarers on the north coast of Ireland. He says; ‘My family were fishermen, sailors and boat-builders who made their livelihood in one way and another from the sea. I was to follow my own path. It is from this starting point that I made the work for ‘Waypoint’. The porcelain vessel forms have now become guardians of ideas and emotions, occupying domestic spaces in a different way. We see them in evocative places where they change with the darkness and light and connect with them in moments coloured by our own emotional state. They carry with them messages of everyday life and tell us powerful stories from places without word.

Connecting pots and people Waypoint marks a memory, time and place in a personal journey reflected in the history of a fishing community dominated by the sea.

Sarah Frangleton Curator

Waypoint is on show at New Craftsman from Saturday 5 September to 9 October, with site specific element on show throughout the St Ives September Festival from 12 to 25 September.

Waypoint Guardian Vessel LRes

Images – Top: Rose Lodge | Middle: Blessings Cup | Bottom: Guardian Vessel. Photos by Rebecca Peters

lowres Workshop Fireplace 1946 PHOTO CREDIT LEACH ARCHIVE

Think craft. Think pottery. It’s a no brainer of course, but craft has come such a long way over the last hundred years. A quick glance at finger-on-the-pulse publications like Crafts Magazine demonstrates that the contemporary incarnation of craft now stretches to knitted clocks, automata, and elaborate polyamide vessels. And our culture is all the richer for it.

But always, throughout the pages of every cutting edge magazine and on show at the world’s leading craft shows, ceramics – and pottery in particular – exudes an integrity that other crafts can only dream of.

Here in St Ives we are lucky enough to have one of the most respected and influential studio potteries in the world. Over the last hundred years the Leach Pottery has forged the shape of studio pottery production in the UK and beyond, and today their newly restored studio, museum and gallery are continuing the development of Bernard Leach’s historic legacy, to the very great benefit of 21st Century British ceramics. The Leach Pottery has also played a key role in the history of our own gallery: New Craftsman was originally established by Janet Leach, wife of Bernard Leach, here at 24 Fore Street in 1962, and today these two historically important venues maintain a close working relationship. We are incredibly proud to remain the only St Ives centre stockists of the gorgeous new Leach Tableware, which continues to draw in the pottery faithful from across the world and is the catalyst for so many wonderful conversations with visitors to New Craftsman.

We are also proud to be the main contributor to the Leach Pottery’s recent campaign to bring their historic fireplace back into use, alongside everyone who has pledged funds to relight the Leach fire and put the heart back into the old pottery workshop. The fireplace, which appears in many old photographs, was where Bernard Leach would traditionally sit with his potters, students and apprentices each morning to share ‘crib’ and discuss the finer points of pottery making. As such, it is truly a place of historic importance to the development of 20th Century studio pottery. Who knows where future discussions around that same fireplace will lead us…..

The Leach Pottery fire will finally be relit as part of a celebratory gathering on Friday 24th October, and we will be there to show our support. Watch this space for news and photos from the event.

Image: Bernard Leach (second from left) at the Leach Pottery workshop fireplace 1946, photo courtesy of the Leach Archive