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Some people have asked where the ideas for the pots I have been making have come from. These are not original ideas, and I owe a debt of gratitude to my teacher and fellow class mates who have far greater knowledge of the Black Country Pottery Aesthetic than me. This is just a notes pages where I am keeping track of the knowledge I have gained on the subject.
Baeryte, a Black Country word describing a style of working with clay formed and fired in the region. The Baeryte style was developed by Black Country potters and has a deliberately unaffected charm, linked not through form, but through glazing style. The Baerytes shown below are my interpretation based on Japanese Yunomi cups, locally known in the Black Country as Wobby Sobby. Based on the Japanese 侘 寂 aesthetic which favours acceptance of transience and imperfection. These cups (and sometimes bowls) favour functionality and are made for hands that worked in heavy industry, they have no handles and are held with thumb and fore finger, with the little finger held next to the foot ring.
Riffy Chimdies, are interpretive works of the mills and factories found throughout the Black Country. Created originally as desk furniture to hold glass wells for ink (possibly manufactured from the old Chances’ glass factory). Often they would be imprinted with advertising slogans, or occasionally inspirational messages, or even reflect current affairs. These particular Riffy Chimdies are based on the artists own experiences of childhood, playing amongst the derelict industrial landscape, whilst hiding from the Wag Mon.
Along with some of the “art” and more functional pieces, I’ve also enjoyed creating various seasonal decorations, for example Halloween, Christmas, and Easter. Where possible I try and include an inspirational message.