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 3 August 2013

Final Note

Well, although the spirit has been willing I think that it is unlikely that I will ever find enough time to recount the rest of my little adventures that happened upon the long road of our current exhibition.
They weren't really important or exciting to anyone but me, they were just little events
that have enriched my life, so of course to me they seemed important.
But even now the memories of these are being taken over by more recent trips and happenings,
so I think it is time I moved on and tried to record some of these.

This does get a little hard because as ever I keep forgetting to take photographs, 
and a blog without images does tend to be a little uninteresting.
As a child I remember my Mother once asking me what I was doing with a book [as I couldn't read]?
" I'm reading the pictures ". Wasn't that obvious to her?
In that respect I suppose my life hasn't changed, I still read pictures, or at least the stories that different
pictures tell me. They probably tell you a different story, even then it will be different to the one
that is in the mind of the artist.
Whoops! I had better stop there as this is beginning to sound very much like what I had intended the next post to be about.


So for a final time I will show a few more of the beautiful pots that have been part of our exhibition.
All so very different in style, glazes and even their function, each piece unique and all deserving of a special mention. I look at each one and can remember the conversations and the journey that brought it here to my door. For a short period of time they have all been mine, which is not the same as permanent ownership, but for now it will suffice.
I will admit that at times it does feel strange when they leave the gallery for a new home,
it feels like a possession has been taken from me.
But that is the nature of owning a gallery and it is the incentive that is needed to make me search even harder to find something that will replace such a lovely thing.

Sometimes, just sometimes I don't even have to search because the items or the artist comes to me.
This was the case with the beautiful 'Heron' bottle shown at the top of this post.
It was made by a man named Jonathan Chiswell Jones, a potter I have long been aware of but one I had only met briefly a couple of years ago.

Our exhibition had been running for just a week when I received the most lovely letter.
What was even nicer is that it was hand written, something I and many others rarely do anymore,
after all how can you use 'spellcheck' if it is written with a pen? 

Anyway, Jonathan had written in response to an article that was published about the exhibition.
He explained that [although I might never realise it by looking at his pots] Isaac Button and the film
about him had been a great influence to him and was indeed why he was a country potter.

He understood why he felt I had to choose "earthy" potters as their work had a greater connection with the work of Isaac himself.
Here he was mistaken, I had chosen and approached the people who I knew or I guessed might have a connection with the old pottery. In reality I wanted as diverse a collection as could be found.
After all, how wonderful to have such different potters connected by one common bond.
From reading his letter I understood that Jonathan would have been delighted to have been invited
to exhibit alongside the other potters.

As chance would have it I met him a few days later, I explained that the exhibition was to run for another 5 weeks and although it was too late to include his name in any promotions I would really
be proud to show a little of his stunning work here in the gallery.

So it was, that he became a final piece in the jigsaw of this exhibition. 
The quality of his work speaks for itself and the bonus is that despite the amount of work involved
it is very affordable, this is something that I wanted the exhibition to be about.
Pots you can afford, pots you can use, pots that if broken will only cause sadness not a financial loss.


The pots in the exhibition came in all shapes and at every different size imaginable.
From a bottle five feet tall to an espresso cup at one inch high.
They arrived or were collected over a two month period with the exception of one potter's work,
Mark Titchiner.
Although being the second potter to be invited [Tony Clennell being the first] he was the last to deliver work, what was worse he was the closest potter, he arrived with his pots two days before the opening.
Who cares?
Sometimes the best things come with waiting, and his pots really were worth waiting for.
He is a very tall man who works on a very large scale, he owns a kiln large enough for a family to live inside, but his pots for the exhibition were fired in his "small" [150 cubic feet] kiln.
They are stunning, the picture I have shown of his "bread crock" just doesn't do justice to the beautiful pot. In fact a potter from Virginia [USA], Nan Rothwell singled his pots out as being amongst the best.
The only problem was she couldn't carry them home [but she has shown him on her own blog].
This might be good for me as I am just not sure that I could live without that giant "crock".

Wow, I am getting into trouble now.
The more I think about some of the potters and their "objects of desire" the more frustrated I become.
Richard Dewar, an Englishman living in France, whose stunning sculptural teapot is shown above.
I drink from his "tea bowl cup" every day, surely I should have a tea pot to pour from.
Actually, thinking of his pots is odd just after I mentioned Nan Rothwell as they both trained together here in England at Harrow, odd but it all makes sense as have almost all of the events surrounding this exhibition. It seems that it has brought together some of the brightest stars and collectors.
Customers and potters who I might never have met except for this "show".
Potters like Fergus Stewart [below], Peter Starkey the famous salt glaze potter, Tim Hurn with his lovely drinking bottles [kostrel's], Andrew and Joanna Young with their well crafted bowls and dishes and of course  the "peoples favourite" [fellow blogger] Paul Jessop.

Potters great and small!
No, that's not true. They have all been great, in their ability, their humbleness and unity.
There was no star in this exhibition, except maybe John Anderson the man who created the film that made a simple country potter an Icon and an inspiration to future potters worldwide.
The exhibition is dedicated to his memory, I for one will never forget him.
Our LEGACY exhibition has been perhaps the hardest that we have put together.
Like everything in life it has had its "highs and lows" but it has been a great experience one I will never forget, and maybe, just maybe
one visitor might now become a potter.