Archive for the ‘ceramics’ Category

It’s a date!

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

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detail from a 1979 Arabia Kalevala date plate designed by Raija Uosikkinen

Any of you vintage fans born in 1979?  This could be the perfect thing for you.

detail from a 1979 Arabia Kalevala date plate designed by Raija Uosikkinen

It’s one of a series of ceramic date plates produced annually by Arabia of Finland.

detail from a 1979 Arabia Kalevala date plate designed by Raija Uosikkinen

Designed by Raija Uosikkinen, they take their inspiration from the Kalevala – the epic national saga of Finland.

Here’s an extract from the English translation of Rune 33 from which this plate draws its reference:

From a tree the raven answered:
“O thou little silver buckle,
Only son of old Kalervo,
Why art thou in evil humor,
Wherefore sad in thy demeanor?
Take a young shoot from the thicket,
Take a birch-rod from the valley,
Drive thy herd across the lowlands,
Through the quicksands of the marshes;
To the wolves let one half wander,
To the bear-dens, lead the other;
Sing the forest wolves together,
Sing the bears down from the mountains,
Call the wolves thy little children,
And the bears thy standard-bearers;
Drive them like a cow-herd homeward,
Drive them home like spotted cattle,
Drive them to thy master’s milk-yards;
Thus thou wilt repay the hostess
For her malice and derision.”

detail from a 1979 Arabia Kalevala date plate designed by Raija Uosikkinen

You don’t have to be born in 1979… they were made from the mid 1970s to the late 1990s. That gives a good span of potentially significant years – birthdays, anniversaries etc.

And don’t mind if there isn’t a special date to be marked… the artwork is so fabulous, they’re covetable for the patterns alone.

1979 Arabia Kalevala date plate designed by Raija Uosikkinen

Having said that, there’s sure to be a few completists out there who are just going to have to have the full set – and we wouldn’t blame you!!

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

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collection of postcards and business cards from artists & craftspeople exhibiting at Great Norther Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We spent Friday evening at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair in Spinningfields, Manchester city centre…

handmade enamelled copper nature-inspired figures by Janine Partington who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

…and a very pleasant evening it was too.

colourful handbuilt functional ceramics with hand cut stencil decoration by Ken Eardley who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

The fair expanded into two pavilions for its second year.

colourful handmade screen prints, etchings and lino cuts by Ruth Green who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

A great mix of ceramics, glass, metal, paper and textiles… from both new exhibitors and favourites from last year.

collection of slipware pottery by Hannah McAndrew who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

There were so many great stalls – we’ve just selected a few that caught our eye.

We’ll start with Jane Blease Design.

handmade bent plywood and threaded cotton lamps and artwork by Jane Blease Design who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

She uses plywood and threaded cotton to produce artworks, light shades and jewellery.

detail from a handmade bent plywood and threaded cotton lampshade by Jane Blease Design who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

It’s striking from a distance, then fascinating in the detail.

handmade bent plywood and threaded cotton jewellery by Jane Blease Design who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

A piece of Jane’s work was temptation number one and we’d only been in the marquee for a few seconds!

Moving along to &made,

cushions and cacti-shaped pin cushion from &made who exhibited at Great Norther Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Andrea Lord produces lovely hand-sewn pieces…

cushions and cacti-shaped pin cushion from &made who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

…her items simply & beautifully displayed.

cushions and cacti-shaped pin cushion from &made who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010cushions and cacti-shaped pin cushion from &made who exhibited at Great Norther Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Cushions, wall hangings and rows of gorgeous cacti pin cushions in their little terracotta pots!

cushion and cacti-shaped pin cushions in terra cotta pots from &made who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We mentioned Derek Wilson Ceramics in our post from last year’s fair.

handthrown functional porcelain tableware by Derek Wilson who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

His stand, filled with his beautiful and delicate porcelain, stopped us in our tracks again…

handthrown porcelain jug by Derek Wilson who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

….elegant, understated simplicity.

Ruth Green Design has proved another favourite with our blog readers – and a shot of her prints always rides high in our Flickr photo viewings.

colourful handmade screen prints, etchings and lino cuts by Ruth Green who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We lingered at her stall for a good while.

colourful handmade screen prints, etchings and lino cuts by Ruth Green who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Her prints, sold in limited edition runs, look fabulous hanging all together.

colourful handmade screen prints, etchings and lino cuts by Ruth Green who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

The Pear Tree, one of her  new designs, was another strong temptation!

You can always guarantee a striking display from Hannah Nunn’s Radiance Lighting

handmade laminated papercut lampshades by Hannah Nunn who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

…the warm cosy glow of her beautiful, nature-inspired shades…

handmade laminated papercut lampshades by Hannah Nunn who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

…the designs hand cut from paper and then laminated.

Adelle having a pit stop in the bar area at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Phew… time for a pit stop… a sit down with a glass of wine!!

First-time exhibitor Ken Eardley made the long drive up from Brighton where he has his studio.

colourful handbuilt functional ceramics with hand cut stencil decoration by Ken Eardley who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

His range of striking pottery with stylised trees, flowers & leaves was a real show stopper.

colourful handbuilt functional ceramics with hand cut stencil decoration by Ken Eardley who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Functional and beautiful – always a winning combination.

colourful handbuilt functional ceramics with hand cut stencil decoration by Ken Eardley who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

No doubt his work will be starring in lots of interiors magazines in the future!

The natural landscape strongly inspires & influences the work of enameller Janine Partington.

handmade enamelled copper nature-inspired figures by Janine Partington who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Trees, flowers, seed heads, birds and animals.

handmade enamelled copper nature-inspired figures by Janine Partington who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

She produces enamel panels, small sculptures and jewellery.

handmade enamelled copper nature-inspired jewellery by Janine Partington who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We’d love to stroll through a magical forest of her making.

Kent-based Maxine Sutton plays with imagery of familiar everyday domestic objects and the natural world.

hand-embroidered and printed textiles by Maxine Sutton who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Incorporating them into embroidered and printed textiles to produce a range of interior products.

hand-embroidered and printed textiles by Maxine Sutton who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

There were lots of eye-catching items on her stand.

hand-embroidered and printed textiles by Maxine Sutton who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We’ve got a standard lamp that would happily accommodate one of her large shades… and we just loved the coffee pot/cafetiere cosies with their Scandinavian feel.

The work of Sarra Kate is bright and effervescent – just like Sarra Kate herself!

colourful textile banners, cushions and greetings cards made from original collages by Sarra Kate who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Her stand called out to us from a long way away.

detail from a colourful textile banner made from original collage by Sarra Kate who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

She starts her pieces by making colourful collages which are then laser printed onto textiles and paper…

colourful  greeting cards made from original collages by Sarra Kate who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

…which go into making wall hangings, cushions and cards.

Last, but certainly not least, we have Hannah McAndrew, another of our favourites from last year.

collection of slipware pottery by Hannah McAndrew who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

This is where we finally gave into temptation.

collection of slipware pottery by Hannah McAndrew who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We admired her stand last year, filled with its mediæval-inspired slipware pottery.

collection of slipware pottery by Hannah McAndrew who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

This year we just had to take a few of her pieces home!

detail from slipware pottery jug by Hannah McAndrew who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We’ve concentrated on featuring homes and interiors products, but there was also lots & lots of fantastic fashion & jewellery – and if we featured any more this post would turn into a novel!

All the makers will be packing up and making their way home as we write this… so be sure to put the fair in your diary for next year!

London Boys

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

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vintage "Chelsea Pensioners" ceramic tile designed by Kenneth Townsend

After Justin’s recent spate of bringing young ladies home, I thought it should be my turn! I’ve just picked up these two lovely old boys.

detail of vintage "Chelsea Pensioners" ceramic tile designed by Kenneth Townsend showing original packaging

They’re Chelsea Pensioners, and are the newest addition to my collection of Kenneth Townsend tiles.

vintage "City Gent" ceramic tile designed by Kenneth Townsend

All these examples are from a ‘London‘ series produced in the 1960s.

vintage "Beefeater" ceramic tile designed by Kenneth Townsend

It’s not been long since we mentioned Kenneth Townsend tiles – having recently blogged about his ‘Menagerie‘ series. But we don’t need much of an excuse to show off his work!

On the Tiles!

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

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vintage Kenneth Townsend hedgehog tile

This is our 100th post – and we’re turning to one of our favourites – artist & illustrator, Kenneth Townsend. In particular we’re focusing on his ‘Menagerie‘ series of tiles. These tiles received a Design Centre award.

mosaic of vintage Kenneth Townsend tiles from the 'Menagerie' series

The ‘Menagerie’ series featured over 20 different animal designs. He also produced the ‘Horoscope’ and ‘London’ tile series.

vintage Kenneth Townsend designed ceramic tile of Coldstream guardsmen

A new Flickr Group celebrating the works of Kenneth Townsend has just been formed. You’re welcome to join and add your own images or just come and have a look!

vintage Kenneth Townsend designed tile of a cat from the Menagerie series

If you’re interested in starting your own collection, they’re often available in vintage stores. They also come up for sale on eBay quite regularly.  Have a look at seller simoncurtis. He’s had quite a few of these tiles for sale recently – and has kindly allowed us to use some of his photos in this blog post.

C is for… Clown

Monday, February 8th, 2010

We added this clown moneybox to the Child’s Play section of our website recently.

vintage 1960s Carlton Ware Pottery clown moneybox vintage 1960s Carlton Ware Pottery clown moneybox

We know that not everyone likes clowns – it’s actually a recognised fear, Coulrophobia – but this is a cute little fella!

vintage 1960s Carlton Ware train money box

The clown is one of a number of eye-catching moneyboxes produced by Carltonware in the 1960s. There’s also a princess, pirate, cat, owl, policeman, soldier, train and Noah’s Ark to name but a few.

vintage 1960s Carlton Ware guardsman moneybox

If you’d like to see some more examples, have a look at the Lovers of Carlton Ware Flickr group.

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