Not that I need it at present, but it is always good to store up inspiration against a dull day. This morning I drove the short distance to Farnham to visit the Crafts Study Centre. They have two exhibition areas there: on the ground floor, in the Tanner Gallery they have displays to do with the Centre's collection. At present the exhibition is titled 44:10:1. (Here is the display list.)
I always enjoy seeing classic pieces from the collection - in calligraphy, such as this by Edward Wates:
This is the work on display, but image is from here.
There are also examples of printed textiles - one of my favourites in this field is Sally Greaves Lord. And there is beautiful wood too. But my perennial love is for the ceramics, which always strike me in the heart and the head when I see them: Lucie Rie, and Walter Keeler, and John Ward, and many others.
I found it heartening to see the brilliant craftsmanship and artistry in all the work, presenting heights to aim towards, and inspiring me to try increasingly harder to achieve more and more in my own work.
Upstairs is the beautiful room which houses the temporary exhibitions, and on at present is Land-Line-Form, the work of Caroline Sharp. Woven willow is a loose introduction to what is presented here - beautiful bunches of willow, fascinating woven vessel shapes - closed and open
- some coated in chalk, some not;
willow as contour, describing landscape,
charcoal, and sculptural wall reliefs made of tiny pieces of willow, some charcoaled,
some sculptural forms made of bay leaves in wall hung boxes, and a lovely large hanging in the atrium of the Study Centre.
Once more, a confirmation that even what may initially appear to be a narrow field can yield ever increasing paths for exploration. The illustrations of Caroline Sharp's work are from her website, and not necessarily those on display in the exhibition, but they are a close approximation.
Returning from my short trip, I feel humbled, and energised. I am fortunate to live so close to a consistent source of a boost of the highest quality!