Sunday, January 4, 2015

Apothecary Albarello, Bernard Palissy, Karl Blossfeldt

Clay Share - Tuesday
Apothecary Albarello
Spanish - Tin Glazed Earthenware - second half 15th century - in the Collection of Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Apothecary albarello, was designed to store herbs, powders, and other dry medicines and became popular shapes for pharmacy jars, partly because they were easily grasped when lined up close together on a shelf.

Wow, wouldn't that pharmacy be out of sight and a delightful visage. We would love to be able to see so many Albarellos all lined up along the shelves and in use.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has somewhere around 130 different albarellos featured on their website from Spain, Italy, and the Middle East.

We ventured on a 2 week trip to London, back around 2006, and walked the entire British Museum. During our visit to London the Victoria and Albert Museum's floor of ceramics was closed because of two previous occurrences the year before our scheduled trip. Their ceramics cases were broken into two different times, and Meissen figurines were stolen. Bummer.  Below is an image of a few albarellos that we saw while visiting the British Museum.

An assortment of a few Albarellos in the British Museum, London

Thursday - Potters Pick
Bernard Palissy
Bernard Palissy, French, Paris, 18 7/8 x 14 1/2 in., about 1550, collection of Getty Museum
Bernard Palissy was unusual in his time, partly for his questioning of the common perception of where fossils came from, and also for his approach to clay.  His use of molded animal and plant images, many directly from life, became influential to many other ceramicists creating a stylistic following known as Pallissy wares that persisted over the years. Charles-Jean Avisseau of Tours, rediscovered Palissy's techniques in 1843 creating a resurgent Palissy movement in France, and there was a particularly strong group making Palissy wares in Portugal from the 1850's persisting into the early 1900's. 

There are a couple of websites that we ran across that wrote about Palissy and his life that are interesting reads. One article was "Bernard Palissy – the Protestant potter who died in the Bastille" on a website called Look and Learn. Another article is simply titled "Bernard Palissy" can be found on a website called Strange Science. We are looking forward to delving into this website a little more.  It explores some of the beginnings of scientist's discoveries and states "Ever wonder how people figured out there used to be such things as dinosaurs? Curious about how scientists learned to reconstruct fossil skeletons? The knowledge we take for granted today was slow in coming, and along the way, scientists and scholars had some weird ideas." 

The Bernard Palissy images shown here are from the J Paul Getty Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Attributed to Bernard Palissy, Paris, about 1550 18 7/8 x 14 1/2 in., collection of Metropolitan Museum of Art
Attributed to Bernard Palissy, Paris, about 1550 18 7/8 x 14 1/2 in., collection of Metropolitan Museum of Art

Sunday - Playing off the Instrument
Karl Blossfeldt

Karl Blossfeldt, image from Sage Ross blog, part of a group of Kindle screensavers
The book "Karl Blossfeldt, 1865-1932" by Hans-Christian Adam, is seminal in our library.
Karl Blossfeldt's photographic work of organic shapes- stems, flower buds, tendrils, seed pods… is truly a wonderful inspiration for pottery form and surface. It sparks the imagination and leads the mind to fantastical places. In the magazine "Aperture", Sarah James writes an article titled "Karl Blossfeldt at the Whitechapel Gallery"

On the blog ragesoss by Sage Ross he has grouped together 17 different Karl Blossfeldt photographs as Kindle Screen Savers for you to download.  

Karl Blossfeldt, image from Sage Ross blog, part of a group of Kindle screensavers

We post our: Clay Share - Tuesday,
Potters Pick - Thursday,
Playing off the Instrument - Sunday
weekly on our Bulldog Pottery Facebook Page

No comments: