Press mould, hand built plate, earthenware, tin-glazed Maiolica
Size approx: 23 x 23 x 3cm (9.1 x 9.1 x 1.2 inches)
Description: "I've long had a fascination with ceramics from Islamic lands, particularly the early poetic pieces that came out of Nishapur in Iran and Basra in Iraq, some are inscribed with blessings but some have the actual 9th or 10th century potter's name on them- hence my own version 'Made by...' in kufic script with a bit of help from my calligraphy teacher."
‘To create a sort of retrospective in plates’ is how we put an invitation to our long-time collaborator Michaela Gall.
The initial idea for the collection was greatly inspired by the Hynton Nel exhibition; This plate is what I have to say at Charleston farmhouse earlier this year. This seminal show saw the contemporary South African artist-potter look back on 60 years of practice through the lens of his iconic plates.
Hynton Nel in his old studio © Hylton Nel, courtesy Stevenson, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Amsterdam; photograph: Marc Barben
It immediately made us think of Michaela Gall who, for many years, has also used the form of plates as a kind of diary; documenting events, travel, history and everyday imagery in glazes on the surfaces of pottery.
Our wish was for Michaela to create a series of plates celebrating her unique style and cultural interests. It’s a fascinating mixture; from her love of Afghanistan, contemporary events such as the Coronation and the Olympics, pomegranates, road signs, poetry and, of course, the Tudors with Gall’s celebrated Ruff Plates.
It’s a magical tour of the artist’s viewpoint and a collection we are really proud to showcase this year.