Sunday, July 12, 2015

In pursuit of a potter

We have a small collection of ceramics which continue to delight us.  Often the pieces were bought when the makers were young or starting out.  From time to time I wonder what the potter is making these days, and thus it was that I googled Archie McCall
In the early 80s I bought a tea bowl (pictured in the three snaps above) of his from the Oxford Gallery - a wondrous treasure house that was, but sadly has not been around for decades now.  I had not known anything about him.  No biography had come with the pot, only his name on the base.  But now with the Internet so much can be discovered: that he is still living and potting after a career teaching at Glasgow School of Art.  I am delighted to find that his work is in important institutional collections such as those of the National Museum of Scotland, and of Aberystwyth University (the image below is from the latter site).
It is reassuring to see that my instant attraction was endorsed by the institutions, but even better is the discovery that he took part in this year's Dumfries and Galloway Spring Fling (their open studios event), and so I hope to be able to visit his studio in a future year's Fling.
Not only that! I also discovered that my missing abbey - Sweetheart Abbey - is in the village where he lives and works.  In my childhood, living in the Borders of Scotland, and in Edinburgh I visited Melrose, Jedburgh, and Dryburgh Abbeys many times, but have always wanted to see Sweetheart.  Even more reason to plan a holiday south west of Dumfries!


  1. Stunning work of a potter I had not heard of. Thank you for sharing,

  2. I am really pleased that I looked him up. The tea bowl is one of my favourite pieces.

  3. Well, I wonder what that little tea bowl is worth today? You can see it is definitely his, that he has maintained the same voice as when you first discovered him. Very cool.

  4. I very likely would not be able to afford the tea bowl now, Sheila. I am very glad indeed to have tracked him down, however, and also to see what he looks like.