On Thursday, I took a four hour train journey from Exeter to Manchester. Alex met me at the station in Manchester and we made our way by foot to the Museum, where we met up with Steve and John, the cameraman and editor of Hollyford Harvest. I hadn't seen them since our great adventures in Montpellier, back in the Spring, so it was good to catch up with them again.After lunch, I had a chance to take a look at some of the pots in the museum. They have a good selection of work, including this little North Devon sgrafitto jug, that has inspired much scratching of slip since last time I saw it.
The show was still being installed as it wasn't officially opening until the next day, but the lady in the picture was there taking a look. As it transpired, she is the widow of John Anderson, who passed away earlier this year. Anderson made the marvellous Isaac Button film, way back in the sixties. Mrs Anderson had provided some of the archive photographs for the show that had been enlarged and hung on the gallery walls. It was interesting to hear her recollections of Isaac Button.
A 17th century water cistern. There were a few variations of this form in the show, they were clearly commonly used by the citizens of York. All were made at a pottery, by coincidence, named Wedgewood.
A fabulous Paul Young dove cote, accompanied by a Geoff Fuller chicken whistle, above some fine seventeenth century Staffordshire pots.
During the afternoon we went to York Minster, which is a beautiful building with stained glass windows of breathtaking scale and beauty.
As if this wasn't enough excitement for one day, Alex, Helen and I headed off to a huge building that houses the Museum and Art Gallery's reserve collections, a vast place full of skulls, carved stone, wood and lots and lots and lots of pots. Alex and Helen selected pots that will be available to handle this weekend at this event. If you want to get your hands on a Coper or a Cardew, get along there.The show is on for a year, playing Isaac Button and Hollyford Harvest on a loop throughout the day. Issac Button is a silent film, but I pity the poor invigilation staff who will be sick to death of the sound of my voice and the Love Daddies soundtrack of Hollyford Harvest after just a day, let alone a year!
What a brilliant, inspirational trip, thank you for everything Alex, Carol and Helen.
So back to the solitude of the workshop today and warm autumnal sunshine.
I've been completely re-ordering the place in readiness for this weekend's visit from the Wescountry Potters Association and ready too to throw myself into full scale production for a November firing. I couldn't bear to work in it like it was any more, so I'm pleased that I've taken the time to sort it out properly before getting started with making again.
Well, that's it for now, goodnight all