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Guy Wolff: Master Potter in the Garden

Guy Wolff: Master Potter in the Garden

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Guy Wolff: Master Potter in the Garden

Longueur:
267 pages
2 heures
Sortie:
Jul 9, 2013
ISBN:
9781611684032
Format:
Livre

Description

If you mention Guy Wolff to a serious gardener, that gardener will almost certainly admit to either owning a Guy Wolff flowerpot or coveting one. Wolff’s pots—some small and perfect for a sunny windowsill, others massive and just right for a favorite outdoor spot—are widely considered to be the epitome of gardenware. Their classical proportions, simple decoration, and the marks of Wolff’s hands all combine to make plants look their best. His pots possess an honesty and liveliness that machine-made flowerpots lack. Wolff is probably the best-known potter working in the United States today. In gardening circles, he is a highly revered horticultural icon; gardeners flock to his lectures and demonstrations. His work also appeals to lovers of design and fine arts: visit the personal gardens of landscape designers, and you will see Guy Wolff pots. Step inside the gates of estate gardens, and you will see Guy Wolff pots. Yet he is a potter’s potter. He’s a big ware thrower, a skill few have today. He thinks deeply about what he calls the architecture of pots and the importance of handmade objects in our lives. Whether you are a longtime collector of Wolff’s pots, anxious to buy your first one, or simply intrigued by the beauty and practicality of hand-crafted goods in our fast-paced era, you’ll want to add this richly illustrated book to your library.
Sortie:
Jul 9, 2013
ISBN:
9781611684032
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur

Suzanne Staubach writes, pots, and gardens in northeast Connecticut. After a long career in independent bookselling, she now writes and speaks about garden and ceramic history, and sells her handmade pottery nationwide. She is the author of three previous books.  


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Aperçu du livre

Guy Wolff - Suzanne Staubach

pots.

Unlike other mass-produced art, hand-thrown pots seem to look better the faster they are turned out, John Windsor wrote for the Sunday Independent in 1995. The potter’s skill improves with practice—yet there is no time for pretentiousness. Hence the charm of English country pottery made for cooking, baking, brewing, storing, growing seedlings, or feeding chickens.1

Windsor was writing about a collection of early English country pottery that had recently come onto the market and explaining to his urban readers why these simple pots from the past resonated with modern cooks. These are the pots that Wolff admires. A measure of his achievement is that Windsor’s words could equally describe the appeal of Wolff’s wares. Quickly and robustly thrown, in multiples, his pots, like the old-time pots, touch us.

Among the offerings at that auction were a few pots made by one of Wolff’s personal heroes, Isaac Button, the last true English country potter. Wolff says he loves to watch the black-and-white video that the photographer/filmmaker John Anderson made of Button in 1965, four years before Button’s death at 66. It’s one of my favorites, Wolff smiles. It’s a window into the last breath of preindustrial pottery.

Button worked at Soil Hill, which had been a pottery since 1780 when Jonathan Catherall set it up. By 1884, Button’s grandfather was there, and later his father. At one time thirteen potters made wares to fill the big coal-fired kiln, but in the last decades Button worked alone, doing everything himself. He dug and processed the clays, mixed slip, threw, glazed, and fired alone. It was hard physical work. He made cider jars, horticultural wares, jugs, cups, milk pans and other items for the farm and kitchen. In the film, which Wolff never tires of watching, you see him with a bib apron tied on over his jacket, a pipe in his mouth, a cravat at his neck, as he deftly throws cup after cup, seemingly without effort. Making a tall jar, he smiles to himself when it is done. In a day, Windsor wrote, "he could turn a ton of clay into pots. I timed him as he threw a lump of clay on to the wheel, pulled it high, then cut it off with wire: 22 seconds. In an hour, he could turn out 120 pots. In a day,

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