“Now all the candles were lit, and the faces on both sides of the table were brought nearer by the candlelight”
Part of Mrs Woolf's Kitchen Collection (see below)
Size: 11 x 15 cm
The Shop Floor Project commissioned their long-time collaborator Katrin Moye to create a collection of ceramics based on descriptions of objects, patterns and characters within Virginia Woolf's 1927 novel To the Lighthouse.
The novel centres on the Ramsay family and through their holiday visits to the Isle of Skye the book explores the nature of art and the ideas of perception.
Having worked with British ceramicist, Katrin Moye, for over ten years, we were interested in her recent diversion into re-imagining objects from written, oral and painted descriptions. Her recent works such as Throwing Paintings have seen Moye reinterpret the still-life paintings of Winifred Nicholson and Vanessa Bell into ceramic form. And in Things From Home she turned the home-sick, oral descriptions of Chinese students at the University of Nottingham into a collection including ceramic dumplings, a hair comb and miniature cherry tree.
Katrin had wanted to do a second collection for The Shop Floor Project based on descriptions of objects within literature, and we suggested Woolf's To the Lighthouse, which is filled with hypnotic descriptions of objects and ponders the reality of domestic interiors:
"'Think of a kitchen table then' he told her, 'when you're not there'".
Unbeknown to us To the Lighthouse is also a novel which Katrin treasures, and she was instantly inspired, developing an extraordinary collection exploring the text and its characters.
Here Katrin Moye takes us through her initial research process:
“I'm full steam ahead with the collection. I re-read To the Lighthouse in the summer heatwave, which was in itself lovely as I mostly read it in the garden, underneath a fig tree on a quilt my mum made.
I went through the text and marked the phrases I found most appealing. The central part of the book where they have dinner together gave me loads of ideas, here is my initial making list:
Eight cups and saucers, loosely representing the eight Ramsay children.
Four double candelabra to echo the quote "Now eight candles were stood down the table". Two of the candelabra I've made to represent Mrs and Mr Ramsay as deities.
One part of the dining table scene describes the house guest Lily Briscoe as daydreaming about her painting and she moves the salt cellar around the patterned tablecloth. She is concerned about the positioning of a tree in her painting, so I've made a salt and pepper set in the shape of two trees, to help her sort this problem out!
Eight fluted plates which will have quotes that I particularly like written on them. Taken out of context they became lovely, interesting fragments of poetry - and the design of these plates was inspired by The World of Interiors article about Roland Collins, a one time neighbour of Vanessa Bell in London. He collected Dieppe Delftware and there is a beautiful photo of his fireplace with some of his blue and white plates on the wall.
A selection of tiles, inspired by descriptions of the interiors and trips down to the beach to collect seaweed.
And of course a big fruit bowl on a pedestal, which will be painted with pears, grapes and lemons, quoting that wonderful section: “No, she said, she did not want a pear. Indeed she had been keeping guard over the dish of fruit (without realising it) jealousy, hoping that nobody would touch it. Her eyes had been going in and out among the curves and shadows of the fruit, among the rich purples of the lowland grapes, putting a yellow against a purple, a curved shape against a round shape, without knowing why she did it, or why, every time she did it, she felt more and more serene.”
FOR MORE ON KATRIN MOYE - WATCH THE FILM BELOW...