I’ve been to the Erskine, Hall & Coe gallery in the Royal Arcade again, this time for a mixed exhibition of international ceramics that includes several Japanese ceramists as well as some of the major names in English pottery like Bernard Leach and the modernist Lucie Rie. They all work in a pared-down, honest style that owes a lot to the Mingei movement in Japan pioneered by Shoji Hamada. Continue reading
I’ve been wanting to visit the Harlequin Gallery, which deals in classical and contemporary studio pottery and ceramics, for a long time as they have an interesting collection of Japanese pottery for sale, but they exhibit in Central London only rarely. However, last week they had a brief show in Shepherd’s Market, so Yannick and I rushed down to see what was on offer. Continue reading
It’s no secret that Yannick and I are fans of Mashiko Pottery, so when I heard that they were going to be showing at the Earl’s Court Craft/Home/Top Drawer exhibition I emailed him right away and we both got very excited. I wrote about some of the other stalls we visited in my last post, but Mashiko deserves a post all of its own. Continue reading
The Pace Gallery in Soho surprised me, perhaps because I’m used to seeing their website, which has a big international gallery feel, and their new and imposing flagship gallery in Burlington House, shared with the Royal Academy. So I didn’t expect a discreet, almost hidden door down a back street behind Piccadilly Circus. But I duly rang the bell and climbed to the first floor to find a spacious gallery which has apparently been there for years without my noticing. And a remarkable exhibition of Mingei. Continue reading
Many years ago I used to go to Christie’s South Ken to buy ukiyo-e prints. In those days it was in a rabbit-warren of a building somewhere near the Gloucester Road with room after room piled high with dusty furniture and china. Down in the basement you could ferret about among the prints to find that special treasure going cheap, while the dealers eyed you suspiciously. It’s not like that now. Continue reading
Nowadays 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
With 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