Venice

After immersing myself in the fabulous world of Brideshead Revisited for a recent bowl, it’s not surprising that a Venetian element would appear on one of my pieces. Below are pictures of my still pre-glazed Venetian Palaces bowl, the largest of the pieces that will be available for purchase at my sale this Saturday. The first picture is a true work-in-progress snapshot, where you can see my original pencil illustration on the bowl:

And here’s a view of one side of the bowl:

And the other side… Can’t wait to see how it will turn out when it comes out of the kiln on Friday morning!!

Normandie

My lovely friend Rachel, with whom I will be going to NY in less than 2 days, recently came back from a trip to Normandy. Below are some of the photographs she took of the place:

I had been meaning to give Rachel one of my pieces for a long time. Her pictures of the gorgeous city of Rouen inspired me to make her the bowl below:

Very much looking forward to good travel times with Rachel starting Wednesday! Last time we were in NYC, we lost our passports and were witnesses to one of the biggest snow storms that had hit the city for a long time… I wonder what adventures we will have this time around 🙂 In the meantime, I will be absent from my blog, returning next week.

Repeats

I sometimes think that we never grow up, that certain traits typical of children remain with us forever. Like when we’d give our parents our best art/craft work. In a way, I feel I still do! What was originally made as a vessel is now a pot in my mother’s living room:

But I miss the design a bit, so decided to repeat it. This time in a bowl:

Planning for New York

In a little over 4 weeks I’ll be on my way to New York City for a much-needed 5 day mini-holiday. Three days will be spent here, but the other two days – and every night – will be spent exploring the city. Rather subconsciously I have found myself drawn towards all things New York lately.

One of my recent bowls depicts Central Park surrounded skyscrapers:

The music I’m listening to lately is the soundtrack to Woody Allen’s Manhattan – can there be anything more New York than Gershwin paired with Allen?

I have watched a couple of documentaries on artists who lived in New York. One is The Radiant Child, a stunningly beautiful documentary about the even more beautiful artist Jean-Michel Basquiat:

And the other is Alastair Sooke’s take on Andy Warhol as part of his BBC series Modern Masters:

It’s thanks to this documentary that I have found out that Andy loved going to a place in Manhattan called Serendipity 3. When he was broke, he’d swap his drawings for pastries and ice creams there – his favourite being the “Frrrozen Hot Chocolate with Lemon Ice Box Pie”. This is Andy outside Serendipity:

Obviously, this image has gone straight to my NY trip board on Pinterest.

I know it’ll be hot and humid, packed, expensive… and it’ll be amazing. T minus 22 days and counting.

NOTE: If you wish to know the source of each of the images uploaded, simply click on the image itself.

Staple Inn

One of the few Tudor buildings that survived the Great Fire of London of 1666 is Staple Inn on High Holborn. Built in 1545, Staple was one of the nine Inns of Chancery, each of which provided approximately 100 students with accommodation and training in law. The building changed a little during the 19th century and plasterboards were put on the facade to cover the beautiful black and white half timbered structure. The Victorians were ashamed of having medieval buildings still in use in London – this was during the expansion of the Empire and they wanted to project London as a new modern city. Below is an image of Staple Inn in 1886:

Staple Inns buildings currently hold the offices of The Institute of Actuaries. They were used as an illustration on tins and pouches of ‘Old Holborn’ tobacco…

…and also on my latest vessel:

NOTE: The photograph of Staple Inn is from wikipedia, as is the one of the 1886 illustration. I found the image of the tobacco tin here.

Victoria Street

Built in the 18th century, Victoria Street is one of the easiest streets to identify in Edinburgh because of its colourful facades. Above it there’s Victoria Terrace, full of pubs and open-air cafes, and which is also used regularly by BBC Scotland as a backdrop for interviews!

When I visited Scotland, over 7 years ago now, I must admit I was more captivated by Glasgow than Edinburgh. I think my love for the Glaswegian bands Belle & Sebastian, Camera Obscura and Franz Ferdinand may have contributed to this… What I certainly would have never guessed 7 years ago is that I’d be making a Victoria Street bowl!

NOTE: The image of Victoria Street was taken by Wendy Rauw.

Houses on the Plateau

One of the coolest neighbourhoods in Montreal is the Plateau. Right by Mount Royal,  it’s got a brilliant mixture of awesome and colourful architecture, cafes, bookshops and an overall feeling of laissez-faire. The photographs below were taken by yours truly when I was in Montreal for a holiday, exactly one year ago, with my lovely friend Mapi (the gorgeous girl in the bright pink raincoat).

Below is my Houses on the Plateau bowl, which recently came out of the kiln. Pretty obvious inspiration taken from the Quebecois city. What’s more, all of the houses above are pictured in the bowl below, can you spot them?

Gerberoy

About 35km north of Paris lies the delightful village of Gerberoy. Located within the département of Oise, its architecture is rich in half-timbered houses and there are even traces of a medieval castle. It is also listed in the plus beaux villages de France (Most beautiful French villages).

I hold Pinterst 100% accountable for the inspiration to do my latest bowl. I saw the photograph above somewhere, clicked, and clicked again and ended up on Jolivillage’s photostream on Flickr.  If my addiction enthusiasm with Pinterest weren’t so, I probably would have forgotten about Gerberoy by now. I wouldn’t have done the sketch below…

…nor would I have taken my sketch to a new level and turned it into a bowl…

NOTE: The image of Gerberoy above is from Jolivillage’s photostream on Flickr, via Pinterest.

St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church

One of my most guilty pleasures of late is watching a certain TV show… It’s rather hideous and I know, for a fact, that a few of my brain cells commit suicide whenever I watch an episode. The show is called… Say Yes to the Dress. It’s an absolutely horrible account of how pathetic brides-to-be and those who sell wedding dresses can be. Their utter shallowness, diva aspirations and pretentiousness make each episode’s whirlwind of emotions and godawful gowns just priceless comedy value.

But, in all honesty, I’m normally not that cynical towards weddings and I really do enjoy attending them. Great food, dance, people-watching, unlimited supplies of booze and, obviously, seeing two people whom I respect tying the knot make them a beautiful affair.

A colleague is getting married in May. He is Greek Orthodox so the ceremony will be held in Montreal’s St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church.

My wedding present to him and his new wife? Something handmade and unique: one of my bowls with a drawing of the church where they’ll be wed on side. I hope they like it!

NOTE: The image of the church is via Images Montreal.