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Partial Eclipse in Manchester to Polish Ceramics

March 23, 2015

Fishinkblog 8932 AS Ćmielów Polish Ceramics 2

It was a magical start to the day with the partial eclipse of the sun in the morning. Like a cheshire cat smile in the sky I was treated to glimpses of this heavenly spectacle. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partially obscuring Earth’s view of the Sun. In most of the UK we experienced about 83% of the eclipse, however many areas were totally cloud covered so the sun wasn’t visible … lucky me eh !

Fishinkblog 8923 Partial Eclipse

There was a very giddy group of school children on the tram on the way into Manchester. The stop announcer said ‘ The next stop, will be Trafford Bar ‘ and one little girl said to her neighbour, ‘ Did that lady just say chocolate bar ? ‘ and her neighbour said ‘ I like chocolate bars ‘, ‘ So do I ‘ said the first girl. I just smiled and looked out of the window as the conversation carried on for the next few minutes in the same vain.

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Firstly a quick look around Manchester City Art Gallery, where I discovered the dresses of Media and Textile Artist Andrea Zapp. Sadly her exhibition finished yesterday but I’ve captured the essence of it for you here. All of the silk clothing is hand-made.

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Andrea has used scenes and photography from her global travels. Urban views, rural panoramas, miniature scenarios and objects from the galleries own decorative arts collection. Each dress also features in a unique online map interface, that enables you to view the original location and background story for each photographic artwork, including it’s GPS coordinates !

It was great to see the photographic images, next to an image of the completed dress. Great colour and movement.

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Sadly quite a few of the rooms were closed in the gallery as the exhibitions were changing, but it did mean that I saw some things that perhaps I wouldn’t normally have visited. This plate made in Valencia about 1680 and these beautiful tiles and bowl by William De Morgan around the 1890’s.

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A brief interlude for some well deserved (and rather yummy) food in Terrace Bar on Thomas Street in the Northern Quarter.

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Then just look what I discovered in Waterstones bookshop. A beautiful reminder of the work of Emily Sutton on the cover of ‘ The Incredible Journey ‘. Annabel Large’s cover for ‘ Tarka the Otter ‘ is also a winner in my view. Did you know this book was first published back in 1927 ! Great to see them both as fresh reprints.

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Also from the Art gallery, this fabulous donkey by Polish ceramist Lubomir Tomaszewski. Which led me onto one of my internet research trips to excitedly discover more. 

These figures are one of the best examples of the golden age of Polish design. Over the years, they have become icons of the style of the 50’s and 60’s. The leading Polish designers working at the Institute of Industrial Design (or IWP).

The ceramics known as the ‘History Figures’ began in 1956, when the IWP recruited Henry Jędrasiak, Lubomir Tomaszewski, Hanna Orthwein and Mieczyslaw Naruszewicz. It was this team of four designers, sculptors, who changed and defined the style of small sculptures produced at the factory and contributed to the high level of pottery produced in Poland. During the seventeen years of existence of the Department of Ceramics and Glass in IWP designed and implemented for the production of approximately 130 designed figurines.

I think their simplicity and beautiful use of minimal lines are reasons as to why the ceramics have remained so popular.

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The four designers proved that the porcelain figurine can be a small work of art, and also at the same time, the perfect addition to a fashionable modern interior. Having little (similarly-styled) competition in the world of porcelain figurines, they caused a sensation in the exhibitions and trade fairs not only in Poland, but also in the USA, Japan, France, Germany and Russia.

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Throughout the 1960’s they produced all the major labels porcelain and earthenware in Poland (in Ćmielów).  Also the famous Ćmielowska Dawn label. The original forms and models, are still used today in the production of the Porcelain Factory at AS Ćmielów.

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What amazing shapes and visual interpretations of these animals !

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You can view more in this collection of ceramics here. If you enjoyed this you may also like the work of Jonathan Adler.

So now Fishink blog readers, you can now appreciate how my post travels from eclipses to Poland, just by the sighting of a piece of ceramics in Manchester ! Beautiful work, I’m so glad I saw it. Do you know of anything from a similar time and style ? Please share your thoughts with us all.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. janelittlefieldglass permalink
    March 23, 2015 9:42 am

    The incredible Journey was my favorite childhood book, really nice to see the new cover by Emily Sutton.

    • March 23, 2015 5:16 pm

      Well what do you know ! I’m obviously in good company there then : )

  2. March 23, 2015 10:59 am

    the ceramics blow me away. Thank you for posting!

  3. March 23, 2015 12:19 pm

    Thank you Craig for sharing: these polish ceramics are simply amazing!

    • March 23, 2015 5:17 pm

      Thanks Isabella, glad you like them too. So pleased you let me know.

  4. March 23, 2015 11:58 pm

    The bowl and the tiles are beautiful. The Polish ceramics remind me of your work–the shapes, free form. Who is the artist of the painting? My first thought was Joaquin Sorolla, but I’m imagining that’s not who it is. The clothes are unique. The food looks good! You always have such fun experiences.

    • March 24, 2015 8:35 am

      Thanks Joy. The fun seems to happen quite by chance lol and the painting is called ” Work ” and is by Ford Maddox Brown I often get his masterpieces confused with those of William Holman Hunt as their styles, to me, appear to be similar.

  5. March 24, 2015 12:00 am

    oh, and nice eclipse shots.

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