For the third time in succession we had lovely weather to match the great hospitality and food. Günther and his daughter Claudia came over from Vienna bringing a traditional Sacher chocolate torte for us all to enjoy at teatime. After that the England World Cup match took over in the sitting room and most of the ladies withdrew to the garden. In the end we didn’t do the walk or visit the church but just chilled instead! As ever thanks to Len and Lesley.
Most of the ceramic themes were inspired by Lesley’s personal experiences and most are being depicted for the very first time as Limited Paintings. As you will see from the photos and descriptions there are lots of intricate details portraying social history, natural history, art history, cultural history and popular culture. All in a day’s work for Hazle Ceramics!
The annual Craft Fair held in the grounds of stately Hatfield House, where the Hastings and Jessops discovered Hazle Ceramics, has always been Lesley’s favourite venue. She befriended a gemologist who also ran a stall there and each year would buy amber from her. Lesley says that amber has been a healing stone and amulet for at least 7000 years.
Jurassic Park made amber famous. To recreate the creatures, DNA was extracted from a mosquito, preserved in amber, that had fed on a dinosaur. The film wrongly used amber from the Dominican Republic formed 20-40 million years ago, but the last dinosaur lived 65 million years ago. Amber from this era exists but scientists are sceptical about the potential! Formed from tree resin, amber settles on the sea bed before before washed ashore. For over 100 years, The Amber Shop in Aldeburgh and Southwold has been sculpting amber uniquely from the Suffolk coast. The Southwold name features here.
LP50 on MELTON MOWBRAY
When she ran the stall with Len at Covent Garden Lesley often spent time at a Chinese Calligraphy Shop in nearby Neal’s Yard. She was especially fascinated by mulberry papers and discovered that they were made from real mulberry leaves.
Literally translated from the Greek as beautiful writing, calligraphy is central to many ancient cultures. However after the invention of printing in the 15th century, hand-written and hand-decorated books became less common.
At the end of the 19th century, William Morris and his Arts and Crafts Movement rediscovered and popularised calligraphy and many famous calligraphers were influenced by him.
An exhibition has just opened at the October Gallery in London featuring images from the Iraqi Hassan Massoudy who says,
As well as an art form in its own right, calligraphy is used in graphic design. Computers often carry calligraphic fonts.
LP10 on CANTERBURY BAKERY
An Indian Sikh called Mr Singh used to man a stall at Covent Garden and brought fellow traders “divine” veggie sausages made from pulses by his wife. His stories of life back in India inspired a love for the country in Lesley even though she has never been there. So for each Signing Lesley requests something Indian or at least with an eastern influence. Do you remember the Indra Shabash restaurant last year or the Ali Baba Carpets with elephants on the wall the year before?
Mrs Singh did a lot of sewing and Lesley imagines her owning this shop! Brick Lane, in the E1 district of London’s East End, is a melting pot of many cultures and the street name has been included on the shop front.
LP20 on BATH COUTURE
From Mr Singh to Mr Singer!
As a child Lesley spent hours on a treadle machine. She finds the rhythmic tap of the footplate soothing and adores the scent of the machine oil. Who wants a modern machine when you can still buy the leather belts and old-style spools at a shop in Chelmsford, along with the wonderful smelling oil?!
The first known attempt at a mechanical sewing device was in Germany in 1755. But the name of the Issac Merritt Singer, who improved on earlier versions, has become synonymous with the sewing machine. The Statue of Liberty, given to the US in 1884, is said to be in the likeness of his wife Isabella. He formed I M Singer & Co in 1851 with New York lawyer Edward Clark and both names appear on the ceramic.
To meet growing demand in Europe, in 1883 Singer opened its largest factory in the world at Clydebank, Scotland. Its most distinctive feature, the world’s second largest clock tower, is painted on the ceramic. Also on the wall is the Red "S" girl trademark, making her debut in 1870 and becoming one of the world’s best known emblems. Five vintage machines are depicted with authentic model numbers and colours. The 18 carat detailing includes the early and familiar gold Singer title.
LP20 on PATELEY BRIDGE 1
The 1960s BBC Sci Fi drama Dr Who was revived in 2005 after a 16 year break. The new show became an instant smash hit watched by millions of adults and children - the latter often cowering behind sofas! It will doubtless be imported by television networks around the world.
With her love of the unusual painter Iona was in her element here, with the highly detailed windows portraying many monsters and fabulous beasts from the two current series, which have also seen a return of Dr Who’s old enemies - the Daleks and Cybermen. The 1950s Police Box on the wall is the spaceship TARDIS, an acronym of Time And Relative Dimensions In Space. Tardis has entered the English language to describe something much bigger inside than appears outside. A case of Life imitating Art, I think!
One of the 10th Anniversary Event LP30s was Sci Fi World but that wasn’t dedicated to Dr Who. And you are unlikely to pick up one of those up for anything like this price!
LP10 on UPPINGHAM ANTIQUES - NEW mould
Iona was asked to paint a Chimney Sweep on some remaining bisques from the retired Turret Pub and came up with this...
I understand it is a special interest of hers! Hazle offered this as another Limited Painting for the Signing. And the theme is quite topical - I was only reading in The Times the other day of a place recently opened in London where you can learn to make your own customised fragrance. Several designer names are also listed on the wall. Together with the new Floris building Hazle Ceramics is becoming very sweet-scented!
LP20 on SOUTHEND TURRET
There is a Chef & Brewer pub by this name in the village of Weston Green just outside Esher, Surrey and some of the American collectors in the area commissioned it. Chef & Brewer offer family food with a choice of several restaurants in each location. The pubs are usually in idyllic places and often have an olde worlde atmosphere as is the case here.
This theme started out on the now retired Old Curiosity Shop as an unnumbered piece and has been moved to this building as a Limited Painting. The Prince of Wales feathers are shown on the left with his motto Ich Dien - I serve.
LP150 on MELTON MOWBRAY
The St James’ Walk has a photo of this Arcade, one of three in Piccadilly and considered the most elegant in London. It opened in 1819 by order of Lord George Cavendish, later Earl Burlington. To keep out the ruffians of Regency London, he founded a corps of Beadles, recruited from his regiment of the 10th Hussars. Today’s Beadles, in frock coats and gold-braided top hats, still maintain decorum. One is behind the door here.
The Arcade is still the place to go for antique jewellery and silver. A lady with a stall at Covent Garden, who had worked in the arcade for decades, was full of celebrity stories. Len bought Lesley an antique bracelet from her for a wedding anniversary. Windows show some current tenants: Ciro Pearls, Penhaligon’s perfumery, Richard Ogden jewellery, Antler luggage plus marquetry boxes and silverware.
On the wall is the most famous character of Vesta Tilley, a male impersonator from the Music Hall era. When she retired in 1920 two million signed her People’s Tribute! Vesta's hit song Burlington Bertie with the Hyde Park Drawl tells of a young society swell who stays out all night partying. The later song Burlington Bertie from Bow where East End Bert pretends to be Bertie to cheer himself up, was sung by US Ella Shields in Hyde Park and Cockney accents.
On request some of the LP will be titled BURLINGTON BERTIE
LP30 on CAMBRIDGE ART NOUVEAU
Last modified on
20 January, 2014
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