A Moor steady hand

POST Newspapers - - Time Out - SARAH McNEILL but are there enough re­cep­tive palates in Aus­tralia to soak it all up?

Joanne Rat­cliffe was work­ing in English depart­ment store Marks and Spencer when her dad spot­ted an ad­ver­tise­ment in the pa­per call­ing for new artists at Moor­croft.

In these days of out­sourc­ing, the fa­mous Stafford­shire pot­tery, Moor­croft, prides it­self on still pro­duc­ing hand­crafted pot­tery cre­ated by lo­cal artists.

“My fam­ily are all con­nected to the pot­tery in­dus­try,” Joanne said. “I take af­ter my dad in my paint­ing and draw­ing skills and I stud­ied art at school, but some­how I didn’t think I’d fol­low in the fam­ily foot­steps.”

That was un­til she got the job at Moor­croft, which trained her in both its sig­na­ture tube­lin­ing and hand-paint­ing of art pot­tery.

“I was trained by one of Moor­croft’s lead­ing artists, Hay­ley Moore,” said Joanne, who spent 18 months learn­ing the 200-year-old tube­lin­ing tech­niques and a fur­ther year hon­ing her paint­ing skills.

She will demon­strate these skills on her first trip to Aus­tralia this month when Moor­croft makes its an­nual pil­grim­age to Perth to pro­mote its highly col­lectible new range, Spirit of Aus­tralia.

Tube­lin­ing, an iden­ti­fi­able fea­ture of Moor­croft de­signs, in­volves squeez­ing a thin line of liq­uid clay through a noz­zle on to the piece of pot­tery to out­line the de­sign.

“It’s a her­itage skill and I knew it would take a long time to learn,” Joanne said. “But I loved it.

“Some peo­ple think it’s the harder of the two skills. You have to feel as one with your hands and have ex­actly the right amount of pres­sure to get the ex­act thick­ness all the

A pink revo­lu­tion way around.

“It re­quires a re­ally steady hand.”

Joanne is now Moor­croft’s lead­ing demon­stra­tion artist and con­ducts the Stoke-onTrent fac­tory tours. She shows keen col­lec­tors the tech­niques and pro­cesses that were set in 1913 by artist and pot­ter Wil­liam Moor­croft, who quickly es­tab­lished a rep­u­ta­tion for in­tri­cate, in­no­va­tive, bril­liantly coloured and highly glazed pot­tery.

Joanne and art direc­tor and manag­ing direc­tor Elise Adams are com­ing to Clare­mont on No­vem­ber 24 so Joanne can demon­strate tube­lin­ing and hand-paint­ing tech­niques.

She said this in it­self was a risky process be­cause she would demon­strate on un­fired, dried-out clay, which could eas­ily break in tran­sit.

Moor­croft demon­stra­tions and the new Spirit of Aus­tralia de­signs will be at Clare­mont Table­ware on Satur­day, No­vem­ber 24, from 11am to 4pm, and Drakes­brook An­tiques in Wa­roona on Sun­day.

To book for Clare­mont, call Mike on 9384 9371 be­fore No­vem­ber 19.

The 200-year-old skill of tube­lin­ing re­quires a steady hand.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.