What People Say: Traditional & Highly Decorated

On 10th September 2003, as part of a longer email, Clay wrote:

I am a bit of a traditionalist. I like the traditional shops, even with paint variations. But, some stuff I find 'over the top'. These are not typical High Street shops, and I’m not interested in them as a collector.

On 3rd November 2003 Jo echoed these sentiments:

I have always loved the houses and shops that were more in line with the original buildings, then when you look in the windows, that's where all the special extras are... The houses and shops that have the brick work highly decorated are also very nice, these are in a section of their own as little works of art on a building. I do have a few, like the 10th Anniversary Fisherman's Shop and Captain Pugwash. But I find they are better displayed set apart from the little real streets of buildings I have together - it just makes these streets more authentic.

Marilyn's reply from 25 November 2003, revised on 4th November 2006:

The two distinct styles of paintings Jo mentions could be described as "traditionally painted" and "highly decorated". The portrayal of authentic buildings from our wonderful architectural heritage is an important aspect for all Hazle collectors, and I know many feel the same as Clay or Jo. When I started collecting I was also more inclined towards "traditional" pieces when making up my early streets. 

But like Jo I have come to appreciate the highly decorated ones as "little works of art" in their own right. The skill, ingenuity and originality of these pieces could be regarded as exploring and extending the boundaries of Hazle Ceramics as a creative medium! Chroniclers of Hazle Ceramics in the distant future may well be amazed by the huge variety and style of paintings. In my opinion, even those atypical of High Street shops still don't stray into the realms of what I would call fantasy collectables. I think Jo's idea of displaying them separately could work for some people.

Street Art Art Nouveau Gallery
Street Art LP10
on Oxford St Giles
Art Nouveau Gallery LP1
on Leicester Turkey Cafe

The exuberant and abstract design in Street Art could have been done by a pavement artist. The fact that it appears here on the wall is perhaps a case of artistic license. But collectors, young and old, at Talents of Windsor 2003 thought it was amazing. This is part of Iona Driver's Camden Lock series, based on a group of zany shops in London that are not exactly standard High Street fodder themselves!

I commissioned this Art Nouveau Gallery on the now retired Turkey Cafe, itself an Art Nouveau building in Leicester. This style of art and architecture from the 1890s is characterised by sinuous outlines and stylized natural forms. The ceramic wall is beautifully detailed with Art Nouveau motifs including roses and peacocks. An exhibition by Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) is shown on the ground floor. He founded the Vienna Sezession group of painters in 1897. Trees and women particularly feature in his work and you can just make out Klimt-like females in the pictures. It is definitely a work of art - about works of art!

With Art Nouveau being one of Eric Knowles' favourite periods and hence celebrated by Hazle in Event Specials at the 15th Anniversary, I took this painting for him to see. It was yet another extraordinary building that Eric hadn't come across but he was fascinated - and happily signed the back!

On a similar theme see The Haunted House in Ceramic Focus.

Last modified on 18 January, 2022
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