Archive for February, 2019

Ferrin Contemporary at MASS MoCA

Sunday, February 17th, 2019

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the current exhibit at Ferrin Contemporary, located at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. Leslie Ferrin has her finger on the pulse of what’s hot in contemporary ceramics and has cultivated a veritable “who’s who” of the best ceramic artists from around the globe.

The exhibit features ceramics by Paul Scott, a Ferrin favorite, who puts a contemporary twist on antique blue & white transferware plates and platters. Many pieces are refired, embellished, cut, reassembled and repaired with gold, utilizing the ancient kintsugi (“golden joinery”) technique.

Elizabeth Alexander is new to me but I am already a huge fan of her work, which includes deconstructed white teacups and saucers from her Heirloom collection. I especially love the grey shadows created by the negative spaces of the pierced tableware.

I am including new work by alliterative potter Peter Pincus, inspired by Josiah Wedgwood’s classic 18th century basalt pottery. None of his pieces are broken or repaired, but I am showing them here just because I love his ceramics!

Royal Crown Derby footed dish, c.1905

Sunday, February 10th, 2019

This porcelain serving dish was made in England by Royal Crown Derby in 1905. It is hand painted in the Imari palette of cobalt blue, iron red, and gilt. On the underside is a red printed mark ROYAL CROWN DERBY, ENGLAND with cypher and an incised mark DERBY, 7-04, dating it to 1905. It measures 10 inches by 7 inches and is 1.75 inches high.

Although two painted metal staples on top of one of the handles hint at what is hiding below deck, it isn’t until this pretty dish is flipped over that things gets more interesting. After this dish fell to the floor and shattered into 9 pieces, it was taken to a china mender, who made it whole again by drilling 68 tiny holes and adding 34 metal staples. Typically china menders charged per staple, so this repair job must have cost the owner a pretty penny.