By some random chance, I seem to have developed a bit of a thing for coasters or trivets (I believe the Americans call them.) I say random because there has been no intention behind my gradual accumulation of these useful things but now I have a number of them and they give me great joy!
The first I was given by my mother as a cast off from the family home and have had for forty years. The rest I have bought and now I am adding to their number by making more!
My taste started with the traditional.
Then some years ago I bought a tile by the potter Lotte Glob at the Watermill in Aberfeldy. Recently I went to the north coast of Scotland and visited her studio on my birthday where I heard the first cuckoo of the year. I bought another tile then and am interested to see how her work has developed. Last year I went to the Isle of Harris and to the Studio of Lotte’s son, Nickolai Globe.
There he gave me a shard from an accidental breakage which he had salvaged, cut and polished to become a Fragment of Colour.
I expect they use similar processes and judging by the colour, the same glazes perhaps?
And now, this summer, I have been working in collaboration with potter, Charlotte Mellis. Yesterday I collected our first prototypes and am getting rather obsessed with making tiles.
Charlotte is the niece of Margaret Mellis, a St Ives painter of the twentieth century and her sister, the potter, Anne Stokes. On the death of her aunt, Charlotte inherited some of the pottery equipment including moulds for tiles. Each is embossed with a charming, gently nieve animal or bird and Charlotte has resurrected them and now makes decorated tiles in memory of her aunt. I couldn’t resist one of a hoopoe and it now stands on our dining table in pride of place leaning against the plinth of the maquette of the sculpture of a unicorn, now gracing the centre of Inverness and given to us as a wedding present by artist Gerald Laing.
Even the offcuts look interesting!