Monday, 10 August 2009

Tea mugs and Tree ferns - part one

My father in law (Eric) likes his tea......he likes his tea ALOT!
A few weeks ago he broke his favourite tea mug, it was a nice big one, probably about 1 pint. So, having had trouble finding one that he liked in the shops around Frome, I thought it would be nice to take a trip to John Leach's Pottery at Muchelney in deepest darkest Somerset to find him a decent tea mug. We decided to make a day trip of it and we also managed to drag my husband Chris out of his workshop for the day too.
I looked online at John Leach's website and saw that one of my favourite artists (Brian Hanscomb) had an exhibition on at the Pottery at the same time. Even better! (-:The weather forecast for the day was sunshine, so we didn't expect the rain that dropped from the sky all day!!! This didn't dampen our spirits though. (-:John Leach is the eldest grandson of Bernard Leach the famous Arts and Crafts Potter. He set up his pottery on the edge of the pretty Somerset Levels village of Muchelney in 1965. The appeal of John Leach's pottery is in its beauty of form and its functionality (both fundamental ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain). I would LOVE to own this gorgeous Cider jar! We do own some smaller pieces, a mug, a jug and small bowl, so maybe one day we'll progress to something larger like this.Here's Eric in law mooching around the shop. You can see more of John's work on his website www.johnleachpottery.co.uk where he also has links to other great places of interest in the surrounding area.Part of the Pottery's shop is taken up by a lovely gallery space where they hold exhibitions on other artists and craftsmen. At the time when we visited, there was an exhibition by Brian Hanscomb. Brian works in copper engraving over a wide range of subject matter. The ones I like most though are of Cornish landscapes (where he lives) and his animals.This Hare is one of my favourites. I'm sorry about the reflected lighting in this shot. I couldn't get an angle on the picture without them!The Badger is one I wouldn't refuse if it was given to me either! (-: If you want to see more of Brian's work, take a look at his website www.brianhanscomb.co.uk There was another potters work on exhibition too, that of Nick Rees which I quite liked.Here is one of his pots that I could have taken away with me if we'd had some spare money in our pockets!It would have been great to have walked around the whole pottery and kiln area. Unfortunately that can only be done by prior arrangement. Shame. Here is a photo from behind a barrier of the workshop area.These bowls are at the 'leather hard' stage I think (trying to remember my school pottery lessons)!A wood fired kiln is used to fire the pots and it looks like they have a good arrangement with a local timber yard. I've just realised that I didn't get a photo of the Tea mug that Eric eventually chose! DUH! I'll write about the rest of the day around Muchelney in my next post.

10 comments:

Quiet Paths said...

What a fun trip. I am now dying to see what you found for a tea cup! You didn't have to drag me out to come along on this trip. Deepest darkest Somerset.... ha! You crack me up.

Eve said...

Ha Ha!! I wanted to see the mug!! We have the same taste in art Jenny Wren!

The Early Birder said...

I think I would feel very much at home there Jenny, but the wallet would probably disagree!
Reminds me of my many visits to Whichford Pottery where they also showcase many other potters & artists work.

Jenny said...

Hi Christine and Evie, it was a fun trip, with more to follow!
(-: I will now have to go round to my Dad in laws house and take a piccy of the mug. It will have to wait till I get back from my Mums though. I thought you'd like the 'stuff' there Evie.

Hi Frank, where is Whichford Pottery please? Sounds like a place I would enjoy visiting.

Kelly said...

...love pottery studios. I think I would love it there too! You can't leave us in suspense--you have to show us the mug! :-)

Roy said...

That's a very nice style of pottery Jen.

Jenny said...

Hi Kelly, I thought you'd like this post, having done pottery yourself. I'll go round and get a photo tomorrow...promise! (-:

Hi Roy, we certainly like it.

Rural Rambler said...

Jenny cool trip for you and yours and us :) I love the pottery but am really drawn to the copper engraving. Beautiful. I will be checking out your links. Waiting on the pic of the tea mug!

Jenny said...

Hi RR, they are beautiful. If you click to enlarge on the Hare one particularly the detail is fabulous!

Mary said...

Looks like a great place. I love looking at pottery and art of all kinds. I'm always amazed at the talent of others and think how hard it must be to make a living from art no matter how good you are.