Friday, 2 April 2010

Late Delphis Glazes

I've been taking some photos recently to update my web site.  I'm not sure that I will use this photo though, as I'm not sure I really like the pots.  

In 1971, towards the end of Delphis production at Poole, for greater profitability, the glaze palate was restricted to 4 less expensive glazes (red, yellow, orange and green): The hand-thrown dumbbell vase (shape number 84), and the spear shaped sweet dish (shape number 82) above, are the best examples I have of these very late Delphis glazes.

I do quite like the Jean Miro/Native North American looking design on the spear dish, and the glazes too work OK, but the colours just sit on top of each other in thick pools and there's no interaction or reaction between the glazes.  

With the earlier Delphis glazes you can see that the glazes have reacted together in the kiln and you can imagine that, when the kiln was opened, the artist might not only have felt relief at the survival of the pots but also real surprise at the magic that had gone on inside the kiln.  

Without this element of serendipity, these later pots can sometimes look a bit dead.   Particularly, where the orange or green grounds are used, the ones I've seen anyway, they either they "work", like the ones above, or perhaps more often than not fail badly, the colours sliding, running, marbling on the surface, but never interacting.  It's like either the kiln made no magic and the potters got out just what they expected, exactly what they put in, or else some sort of reverse alchemy took place, they put in gold and took out....

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