Large Harvest Jug - Rooster of Barcelos (El Gallo de Barcelos)
A large and heavy hand-thrown and decorated 'harvest jug'.
Material: Terracotta, white slip, sgraffito decoration with transparent honey glaze.
Size: 27 x 24 x 21cm (10.6 x 9.4 x 8.3 inches)
Earlier this year we commissioned British artist and ceramicist Christina Serra Delmar, to create a series of large-scale contemporary Harvest Jugs.
These giant globe-shaped pitchers made from slipware, originated in the 18th century Devon and were made to hold cider or ale for the centre of farmhouse tables to celebrate the harvest, a wedding or even the launch of a ship. The jugs were highly decorated with simple or stylised motifs and subjects ranged from the natural world, to royal emblems, such as unicorns and flags, and rhyming verses that referred to farming, drinking, the perils of the sea.
Based in her studio in Herefordshire, the patterns, themes and motifs for Christina’s contemporary harvest jugs have been found within her rural day to day life. Beginning life as wonderful lively sketches within the pages of Christina’s many sketchbooks, she shares with us “the birds and trees of my garden, chickens, the folk art and toys and poems and songs of my children, stills from our kitchen table”.
Trained in Fine Art and specialising in figurative sculpture, Christina applies this same sensibility to the bulbous shapes and the “feminine and curvaceous forms of these pieces'' . Completely hand-thrown and decorated by Christina in her studio, a converted garage full to the brim with materials, samples, glaze tests, books. Each piece is thrown with a terracotta body and dipped entirely into white slip (a liquid clay), this is then skilfully scratched away, in a technique known as sgraffito, to reveal the terracotta body beneath, creating these bold patterns and scenes in the process.
Recurring rhythms and patterns seen throughout the collection are: birds and dots, leaves and berries, dancing people, horses and even a Fish Supper, laid out on checkerboard tablecloth! The decorative ‘collars’ on the neck of each piece frame and reference the main scene below. These patterns can be anything from waves, seaweed to this fabulous egg motif.