Beauty

stone, pebble, rock

January 12, 2023

As a fellow lifelong stone collector, I am drawn to Avery Gregory’s beautiful assemblages of found stones. In her “stone studies” she curates them by size, colour and shape drawing one’s eye both to individual stones, and the collection as a whole. There is so much beautiful detail in the stones she selects; lines, holes, speckles and swirls. Gregory, who lives in Western United States, sources stones from all over the country. “I pick up the same stones in different iterations over and over and over again. The natural world is inherently entropic and that is deeply comforting to me: that the planet unconsciously creates these little polished bits of itself with no care as to how they look or where they end up or any knowledge that they exist. Enviable detachment.”

clay and lace

January 11, 2023

I’m a little teapot, short, lumpy and stout. Have you ever seen a lovelier vessel from which to pour tea? The entire collection from Barro by Lucrecia is so charming. Her surface decoration, inspired by lace, is delicate while the wabi sabi forms are brimming with personality. I’d happily drink my ginger tea from this sweet little cup. And bring me my jammy toast on this perfect little plate.

porous

December 12, 2022

When I’m overwhelmed my brain feels like a waterlogged sponge. We all know what it’s like to wipe down a counter with a sponge that needs to be wrung out. It can’t absorb spills and water seeps everywhere. What’s good about sponges though is that they have an amazing ability to withstand compression and bending. We all have our own ways of “wringing out the sponge.” It’s rare to achieve that perfect state-of-mind where we’re strong and springy and confidently in control of what we do and don’t absorb. I’m learning to savour those moments, knowing that they are transient. Just as transient as the overwhelmed ones.

heart of mine

December 7, 2022

Surreal, magical, otherworldly, Azumi Sakata’s brooches are modern heirlooms, to be treasured alongside your grandmother’s wedding ring. Her moths, skulls and human hearts are all handmade in Japan using the finest gold threads, velvets and beads. “I think that in the past, many women had few creative outlets other than embroidery or cooking,” writes Sakata. “I think that the repetitive stitching motion of embroidery was therapeutic, and the choice of colours and techniques allowed them to express themselves. Like these women, I want to use embroidery to strengthen my own heart.”

flower fairies

November 30, 2022

Samantha Kerdine’s ceramics fill me with delight. I’m as excited about these candlesticks as my eight-year-old is about her new fairy lights. Childlike glee. I think you’ve got to be pretty connected with your inner kid to make work as playful and free as this. I love Kerdine’s wonky vases, and her plates are charming, too. Her illustrations remind me of Luma’s, which is the ultimate compliment.

great wall of china

November 23, 2022

Molly Hatch creates stunning installations of handmade plates adorned with designs that reference periods and paintings from the history of art. From 15th century Dutch still life paintings to the lithographs of William Saville-Kent, Hatch looks to fine art and textiles and ceramics for inspiration. Her progress series, made during the Covid 19 Pandemic, is inspired by 18th Century Indian weaving while her beautiful mille fleur series pays homage to a series of tapestries made in the South Netherlands in the early 15th Century. The plates are illustrated with the whole piece in mind, and yet each one stands alone.

in the mood

November 22, 2022

Shelagh Wilson’s paintings are so richly atmospheric. She captures a mood. “My paintings and drawings are primarily an emotional response to a subject rather than what I see,” says the Brighton based artist. “When I work, I become absorbed in memories –– of colours, of pale suns, snow, mist and soft rain, plants, trees, bogs, birds, fields full of wildlife –– all things sown deep in my sub-conscious from my Irish childhood.” Her landscape series is so intensely saturated with colour and emotion that one might actually feel that they’re seeing through Wilson’s mind’s eye. Tobacco leaves, bruised skies and migrating birds over frigid waters.

in leaf

November 2, 2022

Given the fragility of leaves, I find it amazing that artist, Susanna Bauer is able to work with them the way she does. “It took me a long time to get to know the limits of the materials I work with,” she says of her intricately crocheted leaves. Her designs are as detailed as the tiny veins that run through each leaf. “There is a fine balance in my work between fragility and strength; literally, when it comes to pulling a fine thread through a brittle leaf or thin dry piece of wood, but also in a wider context –– the tenderness and tension in human connections, the transient yet enduring beauty of nature that can be found in the smallest detail, vulnerability and resilience that could be transferred to nature as a whole or the stories of individual beings.” They’re so beautiful, and no doubt deeply meditative to create. I can’t imagine the focus, precision and calm Bauer brings to each leaf. Or is it the other way around?

anemone

October 26, 2022

It’s always such a lovely surprise to see anemones still blooming in the thick of Autumn foliage. They’re one of my most favourite flowers, as pretty as they are resilient. If you’re walking around the city right now, you’ll see them everywhere –– tiny, delicate beacons of summer, holding on, despite it all.

one of a kind

October 18, 2022

Hana Karim’s plates remind me of pebbles submerged in water. Her shapes are irregular and her colors rich and earthy, a nod to her father’s Iraqi-Kurdistan roots. Karim came to tableware by way of jewellery which makes sense given her attention to detail. I love the combination of blues below. I also love how her plates don’t stack perfectly, reminding us that they were made by human hands and that clay has a life of its own.

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