Ceramics at the Geffrye Museum

Geffrye Museum

Have you ever been to the Geffrye Museum? It’s housed in a row of former almshouses on Kingsland Road in East London (Hoxton Station on the Overground is right next to it) and it’s the Museum of the Home. It has a series of room settings showing how the middle classes lived in different periods which are absolutely fascinating. But I didn’t linger over these on my most recent visit as I was there for Ceramics in the City. Continue reading

Japanese pottery on show in Muswell Hill

Michael Posner ceramicsMichael Posner and Friends is an exhibition of pottery in a small gallery in Muswell Hill, the Koukan Gallery, tucked away behind Alexandra Palace. I took a walk up through Alexandra Park on the first spring-like day this year to see what was on show. I found delicately beautiful ceramics, bold, dark pots and the artist himself ready to talk about his work and experience in Japan. Continue reading

Don’t miss these fabulous flame pots from five thousand years ago

British Museum Jomon PotsGuess how many pots they have in the British Museum flame and water pots exhibition. Twenty? Twelve? No, it’s two. Two pots. The two pots in the photo above, in fact. So now you’re thinking ‘Why should I bother with that?’ Because those two pots are seriously wonderful, that’s why. And they were made in Japan five thousand years ago, when the best our prehistoric ancestors could manage was Stonehenge. Continue reading

Back to the day job – Edmund de Waal at Alan Cristea

Edmund de Waal potteryNowadays nearly everyone has heard of Edmund de Waal, the author of The Hare with Amber Eyes, mega-selling winner of the  Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje prize and the Costa Biography Award. The book is a fascinating account of the lavish lifestyle of his rich and cultivated family in Paris and Vienna and its destruction by the Nazis, told through the story of the survival of their collection of netsuke (tiny ivory Japanese sculptures). But writing is actually a bit of a sideline for de Waal who has never given up his day job as a potter. An exhibition of his recent work has just opened at the Alan Cristea Gallery so I went along to take a look. Continue reading

I just couldn’t resist it – Mashiko Pottery, beauty in everyday life

Mashiko Pottery signWith the London Design Festival in full swing I’m rushing around London like a mad thing. Yesterday my friend Yannick and I went to see one of my top-of-the-list exhibitions; Mashiko Pottery who are showing at Tent in Hanbury Street until 23 September.

Fortunately we decided to go early in the morning (well, ten o’clock counts as early for me) before the crowds built up so we were able to stroll around the stands (and there’s lots of them) in relative peace. We soon found Mashiko Pottery on a corner stand at the top of the stairs where the pottery was elegantly displayed, poised on pale wooden beams lit by overhead shafts of light. Continue reading