Sunday, 4 September 2011

2. Cumbrian Inspiration

Hi fellow potters and friends,
Look at us! Alan and I caught a few days in Ambleside in the Lake District.

It was green, green, green when most of the UK still looked like a desert. Yes, we had our fair share of rain but it didn't spoil our trip.
Wray Castle

Lake Windermere

We took a boat trip on the lake and had spectacular views of the mountains. Some draped in a soft white mist, others showing sun-lit yellow slopes disappearing into dense forests at the water's edge. The forest surrounding Wray Castle contains every variety of tree that exists in the UK. A thousand shades of green that turns to a thousand shades of red only to be absorbed into the grey, black choppy waters.
Hey, this is getting very poetic. Well, it is Wordsworth country after all.
Now, was Wordsworth drawn here because he was a poet or did his talent blossom as a result of living in this remarkable landscape? 

Dove Cottage, Wordsworth's Home

We were told as we were guided around Dove cottage that opium was freely taken in those days, not only as a medicine but to kick off a good night out. So that made me think - was that host of golden daffs actually just a couple nodding in his back yard? 
But what inspiration for my work: the shapes and forms of the rocks and the changing colours and patterns of the cloud shadows on the landscape.
Texture grew on every outcrop: round or spiky lichens, black through to silver.
Using all that I've seen I am going to experiment with pots that might resemble such boulders. I'll make small ones first - hand-built or thrown and I'll possibly add paper clay to alter the texture. 
Quite frankly, I can't wait to get at it. I'll post my results be they good or bad.

I have a book "Sources of Inspiration" by Carolyn Genders. Brilliant and beautiful. Her message, as is mine, is to keep your eyes open for anything and everything no matter how commonplace. As with my photos of rocks and landscapes it will be the unique detail that makes what I eventually create, my own.
Start a photo file, keep a box of stones, textiles etc for reference. You may not use any of it straight away but always remember - nothing is ever wasted.
Happy potting folks.     

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