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Culture
Harriet Coleridge's 'Tea bowls' are about 3 inches wide, porcelain, carbon trap shino with gold lustre

The Ewelme Pottery is open for 2017 Artweeks

Throughout the week, in the lovely garden which overlooks Ewelme Church, (well known for its Chaucerian connections and the tomb of Alice, Duchess of Suffolk) tea and (home-made) cake will be served.
'Jar' by Harriet Coleridge, 30 inches tall, porcelain, carbon trap shino with gold lustre

"There are a number of pots in porcelain from Limoges and blue clay from La Borne which have been through a five-day firing and show all the stunning effects of the path of the flame – some blue and volcanic, and some creamy, iridescent and speckled with gold. These pots are coloured entirely by the fire and the smoke."

The Ewelme Pottery will open for Oxfordshire Artweeks on Saturday 6th May 2017 (until Sunday 14th May) for the sixteenth consecutive year with an eclectic mix of designer makers gathered together in the barn, the glass studio, and the garden.

As always, Harriet Coleridge– the potter, will exhibit a diverse range of ceramics for the house and the garden.

Many years ago, Harriet was apprenticed to Alan Caiger Smith at Aldermaston where she learnt to throw and to decorate tin glazed earthenware which she continued to make long after she left. She still has a small range of tin glazed stoneware– plates, mugs, bowls –as well as a few pieces of earthenware that she painted at Cherry Tree Pottery which she has recently unearthed from storage which will be for sale this year.

Nowadays, she mostly works in porcelain which is glazed with a variety of carbon trap, shino, elusive glazes that yield an extraordinary range of effects when fired in a fierce reduction atmosphere– from subtle amber to smoky black. These are enhanced by ‘Sang de Boeuf’ glaze and rose ash. After the glaze firing gold lustre is sparingly applied by brush and fired on at a lower temperature – just enough to catch and reflect the light.

In addition, Harriet sometimes participates in group firings of an anagama kiln in France. There are a number of pots in porcelain from Limoges and blue clay from La Borne which have been through a five-day firing and show all the stunning effects of the path of the flame – some blue and volcanic, and some creamy, iridescent and speckled with gold. These pots are coloured entirely by the fire and the smoke.

This year there will be several other artists and makers too:

John Parrey carves wood, mostly oak. His work is completely original and extremely fine. He makes fish: salmon, pike, ray, and this year, a beautiful pair of whales. He makes birds– rooks, blackbirds, merlin, peregrine falcons. And, perhaps most stunning of all, he makes foliate heads.

Anne Payton is completing a three-year project drawing horses. She has spent a lot of time drawing from life the polo ponies at Englefield and it is fascinating to see the progression from the first year. Inspired by a wonderful exhibition of Italian drawing at the Ashmolean last year her work became even more complex and alive and this year she has added colour washes which, once again, add a new dimension.

Mary Lowry weaves scarves and shawls in fine silk, as well as linen and wool, dyed in vibrant colours, inspired by travels in India. She weaves one range of scarves using the Japanese technique called woven shibori which produces permanent pleats in the cloth. This creates movement of colour from one side to the other and also provides a sense of body and weight in a cloth that is, at the same time, remarkably fine.

Diccon Dadey will be exhibiting metal sculptures of animals and birds in the garden and Lorna Payton will be available to talk about the skills required of a bookbinder and may be able to demonstrate some of them. She will have for sale some books that she has recently finished.

Sarah Lock will be in Ewelme on Saturday 6th and Saturday 14th May with a range of her amazing hand salve: made from 100% natural ingredients, principally oat oil - which has been used for centuries as a natural treatment for dry skin conditions - and beeswax.

As every year, the beautiful flowers will be provided by Rachel Siegfried who grows a huge variety of beautiful flowers in Little Stoke – from old English favourites through to the wild and unexpected. Especially beautiful at this time of year (depending, inevitably, on the vagaries of the seasonal weather) is her ranunculus. I know of no one anywhere who grows such beautiful ranunculus and singular Icelandic poppies.

Throughout the week, in the lovely garden which overlooks Ewelme Church (well known for its Chaucerian connections and the tomb of Alice, Duchess of Suffolk) tea and (home-made) cake will be served. All the money raised from the sale of teas will go to the charities War Child and Child Rescue Nepal.