Once again I find myself describing work in one medium, inspired by work in another, and once again it's all about the carving of wood blocks! (see my other post, Fforest, about how I became obsessed with sgraffito).
Last year I took a part time job at the Royal Albert Hall (as well as being a ceramicist I also earn my bread and butter as a guide of historic monuments) and what a total joy it has been to find myself walking to work through the beautiful streets of South Kensington and past its amazing museums. Best of all, I get to pop into the Victoria and Albert Museum whenever I like. It really is the most wonderful place; after years of visiting I still don't think I have seen it all, and this is probably partly due to the fact that I am always drawn to one area of the museum in particular: the ground floor South and South East Asia collection, where the beauteous 18th century Indian wood block printed textiles can be viewed.
A few years ago I came across a contemporary reproduction of these gorgeous traditional prints. I bought a set of napkins as a present for my mum (which live in a special drawer in the kitchen full of stuff too nice to use!!). I then set about trying to adapt the designs to a two-tone sgraffito-friendly motif. To produce these forms takes a long time, both to paint, and to carve. This vase is a first attempt at creating a homage to traditional Indian textiles while indulging myself fully in the multiple rewards of floral design and hand-carving.
Biscuit fired vase, awaiting glazing and final firing to 1200 degrees.