Friday, 31 May 2013

Looped and Found

Collaborations between potters and basket makers seem to be quite popular at the moment. Last year I participated in  Duos Potiers Vanniers and this year Nathalie Du Bernard of Poterie des Chals invited me to partner her  in Osier la Terre an open submission exhibition which is now on at the Ecomusee de Bresse until the 30 Septemeber.

Because I was in Shetland at the time when we needed to be working on the project it wasn’t  really feasible. But, when I went to Roussillon to teach in March, Nathalie showed me a large terracotta head, that she had made, and asked me if I would like to work on it. She was hoping that we might be able to squeeze our joint effort into the exhibition at the last moment, but the opening was very close and we had to get the very heavy head from Isere in east France to west France for me to work on. Nathalie had relatives returning from their easter break in the Alps who were cajoled into squeezing it into the boot of their car and I made a trip to Poitiers to fetch it from them. Despite our best efforts the opening of the exhibition came and went but once I finished the work it went back to Isere, this time with the assistance of a potter, Patrick Rollet, who was attending a pottery market in the Dordogne.

Nathalie assured me he would be amenable to this idea but when I arrived at his stand at the fair with the one metre high scaffolded head he seemed less keen, but graciously allowed me to leave it with him! I have heard nothing since….. Whether it will ever been seen publicly is still all a mystery to me.

When I first saw Nathalies piece, in the very special and ancient pottery that she works in, the idea for my contribution came almost immediately. I wanted to do  something that was about thoughts and memories of ancient pots.  I wanted to use a mix of materials  to create something that was extremely light in appearance as a contrast to the physical weight of the terracotta. Looping offered the lightness and could also suggest pathways of neurones and I still had a sack full of used green wire, given to me by the electrician next door, to loop with.

Whilst gardening  I often dig up little pieces of old earthenware. Over time I have collected these fragments on my windowsills and now this project seemed to present the perfect opportunity to make use of them. I enclosed each piece in a looped structure of fine copper wire and subsequently they were incorporated into the vase-shaped form that grew out of the head.

I have previously discussed the phenomena that I have called ‘the law of material sufficiency’  it happened again and when I had finished this piece the sack of green wire was empty, I had needed no more, or no less.


  1. Thoroughly beautiful to look at, and wondrously evocative of the ever-receptive mind. I love the fact that you have also made a vase shape normally a pot. She has such poise - I do hope that she is being appreciated somewhere.

  2. Precioso sombrero, Lois. Enhorabuena.

  3. Thank you both very much for your comments.