Height 53cm Width 45cm
Private and confidential offers to be made by email before
11am, UK time,
9th November 2020.
The successful bidder will be informed shortly after that time and shipping can be discussed.
Please scroll down to see full descriptive text.
In June 2010, along with Margaret, I staged a huge exhibition in the former gallery space at Rufford Park, Nottinghamshire. For anyone unacquainted with that space, it was absolutely enormous. The preparations for the show started a full year previous and from the outset we realised that we would need some pieces of a scale that we had not been previously accustomed to making.
The bottle now offered for sale here was made during the early days of 2010. I'm not exactly sure how many large bottles were made but there were only 2 bigger than this one. From the moment I took it from the kiln, I felt the firing was quite perfect – the glazing was everything I could want – visually textured and exceptionally deep with just about every shade of red I could wish for. However, at the time I was unable to resolve the imperfection of the quite obvious fissure which had opened up down one side of the pot. The piece has lived with me ever since, and as time passed it spoke to me so many times, wondering when I would resolve the issues between us.
This bottle tells the story of the kiln with exactitude, with a glaze that churns over the shoulders and dribbles over the matt black copper surface lower down the form. The fissure had actually created a wonderful localised thinning of the deep red glaze and a lightness of colour radiated from the tear. The structure of the pot was in no way compromised, the thick glaze having sealed the fissure stopping any further travel; and it stayed like that for a little over 10 years.
The lockdown of 2020 allowed for reflection on many things and brought me to a conclusion that on reflection really shouldn’t have taken so long! I realised the piece fulfilled everything I had written about the “beauty of imperfection”– it was in plain sight before me. The fissure had brought qualities both unintended and near impossible to engineer. I guess my problem could be understood by my perceived inability to 'repair' the bottle. When I changed my mindset, I realised it had never been broken and from that point I had the solution and that was to celebrate, bring attention to the imperfection and all that it brought to my work.
I brought the pot into my kitchen – I wanted it to be in an environment where I could live with it very close to hand and almost at eye level. Over two days I visited and revisited, passed and looked, glanced and examined – I felt I was coming close to a resolution. Day three and I got to work with filling the fissure. I made up a suitable two-part resin and gradually closed up the tear – slowly bit by bit – cutting back and adding more until I was satisfied. I polished it smooth and on day three I prepared the surface of the resin and I applied gold leaf. The result was really quite inappropriate however, the gold was super smooth and too close in texture to the glaze; too perfect by far. I removed the gold and on day four I came back to the job again. A full day of gilding, removal and re-gilding three more times and it was just right. The result is appropriately not quite perfect, just slightly textured, a little wrinkled, looking a bit distressed, like it had always been there. Ten years on and I have resolution.