Falling apart at the seems.

Well I have a blank pillow case and embroidery thread. What to do?
 I made a porcelain soda fired vase that someone embroidered for me and I decided to make an alteration to it. I felt it needed a clearly defined separation between the thread and clay. I essentially started framing the space with a darker thread. You may have noticed that frames play an important
role in most of my maiolica. Now I have decided to try and embroider imagery similar to the imagery I use on some of my ceramics. Hopefully it works out but I’m not too concerned. The pillow case was poorly made and seems to be falling apart at the seem in one section. So here is an early pic as I have just recently started it. This could be an interesting chance to reinterpret a ceramic tile with textiles.

Common ground

I’m having some trouble organizing my thoughts for the next few blogs. I have been jumping around and looking at different work, trying to organize my thoughts into a cohesive pattern. I have been jumping around between the tin glazed work in the Netherlands and the underglaze work form Iznik, Turkey. While trying to work out how I can tie it all together with Persian tin glaze wares that started it all. That doesn’t even include Italy and Spain and the significant produced by those two countries. Any way I will work it out and write the blog posts soon. I was distracted by this image while looking at some of the collection of Islamic ceramics on the Louvre website. I will explain later how this relates to some of my tiles and the idea I neglected to fully develop.

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres after Donatello
Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

English Delft

The Gardiner museum maiolica collection of is worth visiting. Here are some pill-tiles from England they have the Latin motto OPIFER:QUE:PER:ORBEM:DICOR (“I am spoken of all over the world as one who brings help.”) source. Objects used…

Pill-tile with the Arms of the London Society of Apothecaries

in Apothecaries have a rich maiolica tradition that leads back to the development of maiolica. The Apothecary jar is the most commonly known object. They are often decorated with elaborate pattens and imagery. Here is a sneak peek of some Italian renaissance maiolica apothecary jars.

Heart-shaped pill-tile with the arms of the London Society of Apothecaries

Two albarelli with portraits of saints

Here is a common English delft variation of the apothecary jar. Northern European jar forms varied from Persian and Southern European apothecary jars. The forms of Northern European jars often had softer, rounded forms. Personally I prefer the drawing of the images of Italian maiolica but prefer the use of negative space in many of the English jars. But I have been distracted by apothecary jars and should be focused on tiles.

Dry drug jar inscribed ‘V. DESICCAT’

English Delftware has an interesting quality or some would consider a lack of quality. The forms are often well developed and constructed but the decoration is lacking in comparison to other regions of the same time period. The work was often made by potters imported form Holland but I often feel like they were decoraters who couldn’t remain employed in Holland. This isn’t true for all the pieces I have seen and the Gardiner museum is good example of the wide range of styles found in England during the 17th to 18th century. Here is a good example of what I am talking about. It’s a decorative style that would probably be more effective within English the slip decoration tradition. The use of maiolica may be to divorced from the English ceramics tradition of this time period. And of course of great interest are the Unicorns found in the first two images.

Another little trip

Tiles, tiles and more tiles. I would like to write about tiles in my next few blogs. It may be an interesting opportunity to show tiles that interest me and some tiles that  I have made. Some sketches for tiles may also be shown in the next few posts. But as a little teaser here is an interesting website from London England. http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/ceramics/pages/ceramics.asp It has an interesting collection of European pottery from the Neolithic period to the 20th century. I fell in love with this website two years ago while I was doing research in preparation for my second year at Sheridan. Here is the link to the page where you can find these tin glazed (maiolica) tiles. http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/ceramics/pages/category.asp?cat_id=749&page=1 This little journey will take us from England through Europe and end up in Turkey.

To Borkum on our way to Delft?

I had a chance to visit my Oma today. I haven’t had as many opportunities to visit my Oma as much as I would like over the past few years. It’s always fun to look at pictures and objects she has collected and to hear the stories that surround them. After my Oma and Opa were married they moved from Heidelberg to Borkum shortly before moving to Canada. For fun I have included driving directions to Delft in the Netherlands. If you for want to check out any of their
ceramics. I’ve heard some people have liked it. So this set would have been purchased in the mid fifties. I wonder if they are still being sold now in any gift shops. I think they are fun, well  they are maiolica how can you not like them. It’s a slightly translucent glaze on a coarse red body. I like the brush work and simple bird motif. The forms are thin and very delicate. I would probably prefer to serve coffee in the cups though.What do you think?

cup with saucer
saucer on its side

I also found this little object in the dining room…

and this vase in the living room. I’ve never seen a maiolica vase like this before. Though there are many types of ceramics that I am unfamiliar with. I’ve seen this vase since childhood but today is the first day that I realized it was maoilica glaze on a buff earthenware clay. I first thought it was copper brushwork on a white slip under a clear glaze. But when I picked it up I realized the glaze was opacified and the copper was painted in the glaze. Something about it bothers me though.