Welcome to the Gallery

Imagine is set in the Suffolk village of Long Melford.
This is an attempt to record the daily trials, tribulation and pleasure of running an art gallery.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

I did say that I would mention another journey in the last post and so I will, although I am tempted to let it be one of my many "fibs" and just write about today instead as my head is still
buzzing from things that have happened, but that had better wait, if I don't promise to tell you about it then I won't feel guilty if next time I talk about something else that has fascinated me.
But, I will say today was good and very interesting.
Still, back in time to last week.
A lovely lady who lives in Shropshire had been in touch to tell me that she was interested in a
painting by Jackie Morris, it was of two Hares and was titled 'Dancing to the New Moon',
I mentioned to her that we also had the original concept drawing of the painting.
She decided that she must have both, which made a lot of sense to me as I always love to see the "work behind the scenes", so to speak, plus for a collector it would add value to the painting.
I hasten to add here that I don't have a lot of time for people who purchase just as an investment, I feel that buying what you love is a much better thing to do that way you just can't lose, if your piece of art becomes more valuable then that is a bonus and if it doesn't then it doesn't matter because you purchased it because you loved it, and that's all that matters.

[Mind you we do have some good investment pieces, give us a call and ask to speak to the shallow money grabbing owner, that's me].

Anyway, the lady asked would I put the paintings aside but because I had a trip to Shropshire planned I told her that I would deliver them.
As a result she asked could I bring another picture by Jackie that she had been "yearning" for, just so she "could have a peek at it".
The painting was the
'Music Box Bear'.

A few days later after a long drive I delivered the paintings and, of course, she had to have them all. I just wished that I had taken more, "I was on a roll", the lovely lady would have taken everything that I could have crammed in the car. I will remember that next time, so if you ever order one piece of art and I turn up with ten, then please forgive me.

Shropshire apart from being one of my favourite counties is also the home of the potter Mark Griffiths and sculptor Rachel Ricketts.
They live about 20 miles apart and as I had intended to visit Rachel to collect some new pieces from her I thought I might as well make the detour to say "hello" to Mark.
As I have mentioned in the past, Mark is not only a very talented potter but also a lovely man.
Knowing this I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised [but I was] to find that when I arrived at his workshop he is now sharing it with the very well known potter Philip Rogers.
Phil, who for reasons of his own has left his home and workshop in Wales and for some time now has been desperate to find a studio where he could practice his craft and earn a living again. I have since been told that other potters who he had considered friends had turned him away, perhaps they felt that they would be overshadowed by his reputation. Who knows?
However, Mark typically had taken him in and they now share the workshop, sitting side by side throwing their own distinctive pots, it will be interesting to see where the relationship leads them.
For me it did make the visit a special treat as I had the chance to observe their different ways of working, I suppose I shouldn't say too much more at the moment as it is
"early days" for them both.
So, after some refreshment and a quick tour of Mark's fantastic garden I left to see Rachel.

She lives in a town called 'Kington', which as far as I'm concerned should be re-named 
'The Town that Time Forgot'.
I have visited a couple of times and I still can't get over the feeling of nostalgia that it gives me,
it seems so "old fashioned" that at times I expect to see my Mum & Dad [long dead] walking along pushing a pram with me in it as a baby.
It really is very beautiful, there is even a 'Cobblers' with shoes hanging from the ceiling by their laces, now when did you last see that?
Rachel has told me that it is because the area is so poor, there is little work available and no development going on at all. It is a shame for the residents but a visual feast if you are a visitor.
My only regret is that it was getting too late to take photographs.
But I will return, I must, I want more of Rachel's amazing sculptures.
Her variety of work is enormous, as is the materials with which she works.
As usual she was very generous with me, she is so nice natured I'm sure that she would have let me take everything.
Thinking of it, she might as well have as I didn't leave her with much.
Thank you Rachel.

As usual the pictures explain themselves, but in case you don't recognize him from his many books, the potter is Phil Rogers not Mark.


  1. Sorry to hear that Phil's out of his Wales studio. My wife and I visited there some years ago and it's a very sweet old place. I hope Phil's doing well and is back making pots. Doesn't sound like something that one does happily.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Nice idea, John. But I'm guessing that as much as Dee likes what she's seen of Wales, she'd rather stay here on Cape Cod. I need to get familiar with Mark's work. I don't know it. The first workshop I did when I was just starting in pottery was one of Phil's first in the U.S. I've always loved his pots and, thankfully, his U.S. gallery is up the road in Boston, so we see a lot of Rogers pots whenever we want to. A great resource.