Pottery inspired by Bloomsbury Group and Tony Hancock in The Rebel

Last Xmas we decided not to buy each other presents but to do a days pottery together instead. Of course I had some presents as well, I’m someone who starts looking forward to Xmas in June

So I chose to do painting on pottery which our tutor hadn’t done before. He mainly runs throwing workshops. But I did throwing at Art School and I love drawing so he let me have a go at painting. I was left to my own devices which was ideal

First I had a look at Thomas Toft. I couldn’t do slipware but I liked the way he used the shape of the plate and those simple cross hatching borders. Plus portraits are my favourite. I can’t draw a view without sticking a fizzog in it somewhere
Sketches (these were never meant to be shown to anyone)

He did great eyebrows. I’d really like to do slipware (I’m not sure it’s called that)

Then for some reason I got distracted and started looking at the artwork used in The Rebel. I tried to imagine the paintings on pots. I’m not sure how I got to that from Thomas Toft

And my own cartoon doodles. I had used watercolours for these ideas because I was going to be painting on plates, not drawing and I’m VERY rusty. I’ve never done proper watercolours, I just use it for colouring in. I tried stretching paper and all that but ended up with this tiny bit of posh paper that had taken days to prepare and almost nothing seemed special enough to be painted on it. That’s no good

Anyway, when it came to it, my plans went out the window. The night before I looked at John Ryan’s mermaids (Captain Pugwash. They wouldn’t have encouraged that on Fine Art) because one of the people receiving a pottery plate decorated by me is a big pirate fan
This was the first one


I enjoyed mixing all the colours (except black and yellow) to make subtler tones. We didn’t really know how these would come out but it was such fun to do that I didn’t really care

That mouth had gone wrong but I like the scale of this one. And the TT inspired eyebrows (also inspired by Matisse). We didn’t know if mistakes could be rubbed out or not.



When they were glazed they had a lovely finish. We really weren’t sure if the paint would show up at all

The apple is there for scale. I forgot that apples aren’t a uniform size

That one is for Jimi Hendrix


It turned out that more is more. The more I filled every bit with pattern and colour, the more I liked them. I took the first few plates to warm up. When I go back to do more I think I’ll be better equipped right from the off. At first I was a bit foxed


That was the last one I did. I also did a teapot but I forgot to photo it and now it’s too dark. The workshop was four hours
If you’d like me to paint you a dinner service, personalised mug, plate or teapot, get in touch. I loved doing this so much that I’ll be happy to do more

We were so pleased when they came out, we plan to develop some designs and maybe a workshop together if we get time
Bye for now