Monthly Archives: October 2011

Vase Arts

Sperical vase with small flared neck in lavender and purple Lavender and purple vase with small flared neck




Royal-Doulton-porcelain-vase,-circa-1886---1902 Gold flower and leaf decoration

Royal Doulton porcelain vase

circa  1886—1902





Vintage Tonala Mexican Pottery Burnished Green Feathered Vase with Handle



Newcomb College Bulbous vase with four small handles

Newcomb College Bulbous Vase




Moorcroft vase - Eventide Collection


Moorcroft Even Tide Collection “The Secret”



Roger Guerin vase, Belgian, gourd shape with indented sides.

   Roger Guerin vase, Belgian, gourd shape with indented sides.



A vase is a home away from home for flowers and has the unenviable task of hosting  objects that are very consistent and diverse in  their beauty. Despite the level of  competition they have faced for splendor, I think vases have managed to hold there own in this battle. Ceramic artisans throughout the ages have given them a dignity with their original designs.. For vases,  a single colour will suffice for most of the time. It’s all too easy for them to clash with the rich array of colour that flowers tend to project. But for the more monochrome flower displays,  the vase gets the chance to strut its stuff.  Of all the ceramic ware, vases carry the most decorative responsibilities and have always been a favorite with collectors. They also have the most scope for displaying more shape then the other ceramic forms.They have been style beacons for many different era’s such as Art Deco and Art Nouveau, but unfortunately of late they have been a little deprived of a definitive style. As long as there is  flowers, there will be a place for vases and they will always be welcome on my mantlepiece.


 Bernard Bloch vase, Art Nouveau design with naked nympth figure and long neckBernard Bloch vase, elaborate Art Nouveau design.




Amphora Vase Ivory Porcelain with twin handles and botanical themeAmphora Vase Ivory Porcelain.


  Art Deco Pierrefonds vase, covered in a green and blue crystalline glaze Pierrefonds vase, double handled shape, covered in a green and blue crystalline glaze.



Art Deco Vase, Limoges in red,pink and white geometric patternsArt Deco Vase made with coloured enamels on silver-plated copper, designed and made by Camille Fauré for Limoges. Image : Marie -Flickr



Weller Sicard cylindrical vaseWeller Sicard vase, cylindrical shape, covered in a colorful metallic glaze with etched organic designs.




Royal Bonn Vase in lavender and grey tones with gold trim

Art Nouveau  Royal Bonn vase, double gourd shape under a matte glaze in multiple shades of gray and lavender.

( treadway toomey gallery )




Amphora vase, monumental shape with, boldly painted stylized leaves and berries, overall iridescence.  Amphora vase, monumental shape with a bulbous bottom, spiraling neck and four openings at waist, boldly painted stylized leaves and berries, overall iridescence.

Picture from House of Amphora, by Richard Scott.




Gouda vase, unusual form with carved serpent in black against a green and ivory backgroundGouda vase, unusual form with carved serpent in black against a green and ivory background.


 Amphora vase, unusual design probably by Paul Dachsel. Amphora vase, unusual design probably by Paul Dachsel, black and white landscape with gold trees.



Mettlach Vase with bamboo and birds surface decoration

 Mettlach vase, monumental shape with detailed raised and painted scene with birds and bamboo.




Paul Dachsel Art Nouveau Vase in grey and black glaze and stylish twin handlesAmphora vase, designed by Paul Dachsel.

Picture in House of Amphora, by Richard Scott.




Amphora vase, designed by Eduard Stellmacher, large form with a sculpted dragon .Amphora vase, designed by Eduard Stellmacher, large form with a sculpted dragon surrounding the entire body.



Moorcroft Vase " Hidden Dreams " Drakesbrook AntiqueMoorcroft Vase ” Hidden Dreams ”
Drakesbrook Antique



Art Nouveau Amphora vase, Gres- Bijou series, "Lightening Bolt" decor,Amphora vase, Gres Bijou series, “Lightening Bolt” decor, large form with cut-out designs and applied colored stones.



Van Briggle VaseVan Briggle vase, c. post 1920, large tapered shape with stylized floral designs, covered in a blue and green matte.

Amphora vase, designed by Nikolaus Kannh with art nouveau female motif

Amphora vase, designed by Nikolaus Kannh,

Amphora vase, designed by Nikolaus Kannh user, titled Allegory of Germany Amphora vase, designed by Nikolaus Kannh, titled ‘Allegory of Germany’

Fulper vase, large double handled form, cucumber crystalline glaze.Fulper vase, large double handled form, cucumber crystalline glaze.


Image Credits:



Raku Zebra Vase - Marc Hacker Pottery

Raku Zebra Vase – Marc Hacker Pottery



Incised baluster raku vase by Christopher Mathie

Christopher Mathie incised leaf pattern vase



Zsolnay Art Nouveau serpent vase

Zsolnay Antique Serpent Vase ..  see  more here




Twin lug flambe-glazed vase, fanghu.

A flambe-glazed vase, fanghu. ( Photo Sotheby’s )

 Est. 8,000—10,000 GBP. Lot Sold 25,000 GBP 




Avocado green cylindrical vase with sculptured horses along the bottom edge

A carved lime-green-glazed brush pot. Daoguang Period

 ( Photo Sotheby’s )



George Ohr folded ceramic Ssculptural vessel

George Ohr Sculptural Vessel ( marbelised clay )



Sarreguemines Art Nouveau vase with tree in white and gold on lavender backgroind

A superb example  of an art nouveau vase by the French pottery, Sarreguemines.




Art Nouveau vase with flower decoration

Art Nouveau vase with incised surface decoration in floral style




Poole Pottery Art Deco Egyptian revival pot designed by Truda Carter

Magnificent art deco Poole Pottery vase, 14” high with a pattern designed by Truda Carter.

( Flickr – Psychoceramicus )




Blue Newcomb College vase with incised geometric pattern

Newcomb College Vase



Black gloss glaze Amphora Art Nouveau vase

Unusual art Nouveau Amphora vase, designed by Eduard Stellmacher, c. 1900




Pewabic bulbous vase

Pewabic vase



Rockwood Vase 1900 in a black and olive green glaze

Rockwood Art Nouveau vase – 1900





Roseville 8 color Della Robbia vase designed by Frederick Hurten Rhead

Height 20 inches

Morphy Auctions




1900-1905-Edmond-Lachenal French ceramics

Art Nouveau vase – Edmond Lachenal





Jean Gerbino Mosaic Vase – Vallauris




Michael_ Andersen_vase_brown_relief_Marriane-Starke

Michael  Andersen vase with brown relief Probably by artist Marriane Starke



Ardmore African Ceramic Artists

Turquoise, blue and white Ardmore Platter with four zebras on the edge

Ardmore platter with four zebras



Twin handles sugar bowl with zebra lid by Ardmore

Ardmore twin handled jar with lid



  Ceramic Ardmore Tea Pot decorated with cheetahs

A beautifully  intrinsic  balance of rich colours characterize the ceramic pottery of Ardmore.


The vibrant ceramics of Ardmore, ranging from functional domestic ware to sculptural art in the highly decorative African tradition, offer a fine insight into the subtle influences of rural potters at work in the Champagne Valley of KwaZulu Natal. These artists combine the elements of their tribal tradition with the unique  perspective of a new world. Although the nerve centre of Ardmore has moved to Lavendula in the Natal Midlands, the majority of the artists continue to work on the Ardmore farm near their family homes in the Champagne Valley.

The History Of Ardmore  :    The story of Ardmore began in 1985 when Fèe Halsted lived on the farm Ardmore, in the Champagne Valley under the shadow of the Drakensberg Mountains. Her passions for ceramic art had been honed during her five years at the University of Natal when she had studied fine art and then completed a two year advanced diploma in ceramics.

It was on the Ardmore farm – by ingenuity, by thrift and by chance – that Fèe developed the style that has made Ardmore ceramics famous. “I used to make tiles,” she remembers, “when one cracked, I’d stick a rabbit or bird on the top to hide it.” Then Fèe decided she needed an assistant. This was when luck played it’s part. Janet Ntshalintshali who worked in the house brought her 18 year old daughter, Bonnie, to meet Fèe.

Bonnie who had polio as a child could hardly walk, but showed a natural aptitude for ceramic art. Her ability with colour, design and texture and Ardmore Ceramic Artistsher diligence was everything Fèe could have desired in a student. Within five years, in 1990 Fèe and Bonnie had jointly won the Standard Bank Young Artist Award and their work was being shown in galleries internationally.

When Ardmore first opened the doors of its ceramic studio, the ceramics were produced mainly by women. Gradually, however, their male partners realized that they, too, could work with clay under the scenic backdrop of the Champagne and Cathkin mountain peaks of the Drakensberg range located in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. These men have transformed Ardmore’s conservative functional earthenware into a more sculptural and courageous art form.

Ardmore Sth Africa

Their patience and extraordinary ability to pay attention to detail gives rise to artwork of tremendous charm and beauty. The creative talent of the artists, their learned skills and their desire to succeed, have resulted in their earning a special status amongst their friends and families and becoming known as the `Isigiwili’, which describes their abundant good fortune.

The women, in turn, have responded to the new creative energy that has flowed into Ardmore and, of their own accord, have modified their style of painting. Their fine feathering, scaling and bead- and basket-like patterns now enhance the form. Ardmore has evolved into a true unique sculptural art.


All the rhythm, colour, humor and spontaneity of the Zulu artists are on display here for their imaginative ceramic artwork.


Galleries and retailers here 

Hoopoe Tureen vividly coloured with bird figures by Ardmore

Hoopoe Tureen –  Sculptor; Somandla Ntshalintshali, Painter; Goodness Mpinga



Chamelion Tea Pot by Ardmore in lime green and orange with a bird figure lidChamelion Tea pot –  Ceramic sculptor; Somandla Ntshalintshali Painter; Winnie Nene



Bird Vase Ardmore with raised blue flowers and a black-yellow and red bird

Bird Vase – Sculptor; Lovemore/ Sondelani Ntshalintshali.  Painter; Winnie Nene



Monkey Jug by ardmore featuring a monkey encasing sculptureMonkey Jug – Sculptor- Sabelo/ Sfiso Mvelase  Painter; Goodness Mpinga




Zebra Rhino Platter - central flower motif with red flower and green leaf handles and rhino and zebra figures on the edge Zebra Rhino Platter – Sculptor; Alex Sibanda. Painter; Octavia Buthelezi



Goat Basketing Vessel made by Ardmore - goat figurine lid in black, red anmd whiteGoat basketing ceramic vessel  – Sculptor; Octavia Mazibuko Painter; Goodness Mpinga




Leopard Bird Bowl by Ardmore - central pink flower motif, large flower handles with leopard and bird figures on the rimLeopard Bird Bowl – Sculptor; Somandla Ntshalintshali Painter; Rosemary Mazibuko




Hippo Vase Ardmore Pottery african-figures-riding-hippos on the top rim, with hippo handles and smaller hippo figures on the footed baseHippo Vase Sculptor; Lovemore/ Alex Sibanda Painter; Jabu Nene


In the beginning  at Ardmore no traditional techniques were used. Their work broke from the ceramic conventions of the time, fired terracotta clay was painted with plaka paints, boot polish and oven blackeners. Glues and putty were also used. Later American Amaco paints and transparent glazes brought an exuberant use of colour and the intricacy of painting style to the ceramics they were making.


Leopard Jug - black and white chequered base and band around the top rim, leopard handle and figures on the side Leopard Jug – Sculptor; Lovemore/ Sondelani Ntshalintshali Painter; Milo Dlamini




Ardmore Elephant Tea Pot with a large red flower motif and elephant handle with an elephant figure on the lidElephant Tea Pot – Sculptor; Lovemore/ Sondelani Ntshalintshali Painter; Nondumiso Mfuphi



Blue Guinea Fowl Salt and Pepper Shakers red crests and beaked birds Guineafowl Salt & Pepper Shakers -Sculptor; Betty Ndaba Painter; Zinhle Nene




Ardmore Elephant Jug African Pottery with large white flower motif and elephant handleElephant Jug – Sculptor; Sabelo/ Sondy Ntshalintshali Painter; Senzo Duma





Ardmore Cheetah Platter - large flower motif with four cheetah figures on the rim

Cheetah Platter  – Sculptor; Thabo Mbhele Painter; Senzo Duma




Hoopoe Tureen Ardmore Ceramic black-white and red hoopoe birds on the lid and handlesHoopoe Tureen – Sculptor; Octavia Mazibuko Painter; Rosemary Mzibuko




Ceramic Lidded Giraffe Tureen by Ardmore with 4 giraffe handles and 2 giraffes on the lid in black, red and yellowGiraffe Tureen – Sculptor; Sabelo Khoza Painter; Sharon Tlou



Ardmore Ceramic Hoopoe bird figurine

Hoopoe bird on logs



Ardmore-monkey tureen decorated with green leaves on cream, twin monkey lid and handles

Monkey tureen – Ardmore, South Africa



Ardmore egg cups combined with central yellow-bird in a tree

Bird Egg Cup Sculptor; Lebohang Molefe Painter; Winnie Nene



Ardmore Porcupine Sweet dish with four legged base

Porcupine Sweet dish –  Sculptor: Victor Shabalala Painter: Zinhle Nene



Some of the Ardmore artists:

Ardmore Artists with their ceramic creations




Ardmore ceramic artists

Ardmore artists


Updated –

Ardmore baluster vase with giraffe handles in black, red, green

 Ardmore Giraffe Vase

Painter – Sharon Tlou & Sculptors -Sondelani Ntshalintshali, Sabelo Khoza




African butterfly vase by Ardmore - large butterfly on each side of vase

Butterfly vase – Ardmore, ZA

Sculptor – Somandla Aaron Ntshalintshali & Painter-Sthabiso Hadebe




Ardmore-traditional style ceramic basket with figure lid

Traditional basket shape ceramic vessel with lid – Ardmore




Ardmore giraffe platter with a central white slower motif and bananas on the edge

Ardmore giraffe platter



Large raised Ardmore zebra handled jug

 Ardmore jug


Some ceramic pieces currently available :

Vases---Jugs----Ardmore-Ceramic-Art--Buck-Jug Jug with huge red flower and buck handle

 Ardmore Buck Jug




Ardmore ceramic figurine Hippo-Riders 2 native africans riding a white hippo

Hippo Riders – Ardmore



Red Rhino-Rider-London----Ardmore-Ceramic-Art- African boy with umbrella riding a red rhinocerous

 Red rhino rider – Ardmore, London




Gift-Collection----Ardmore-Ceramic-Art-Zebra butter dish

Zebra butter dish – Ardmore




Vases---Jugs----Ardmore-Ceramic-Art---Sable-Jug large flower motif jug with sable habdle

Ardmore Sable Jug


Galleries and retailers here 


More Ardmore Ceramics here 

Contemporary Raku: David Roberts

raku bowl by David Roberts

Counterpoint vessel by David Roberts

 In his personal exploration of this traditional pottery technique, 45 yo David Roberts has transformed it into a vibrant and contemporary art form. As a distinguished English potter, he has developed an international reputation as a leading practitioner in the art of Raku ceramics.  Roberts is acknowledged as responsible for the introduction and promotion of modern, large scale Raku in Europe. He has also been instrumental in its re-introduction to the United States of America, where his example has played a key role in the foundation of the ‘Naked Raku’ movement.

Red Vessel Giant Web Series, 37cm H x 39cm D by David Roberts

 Red Vessel Giant Web Series, 37cm H x 39cm D



From David’s Artist Insight  :

” My ceramics are concerned with making the hollow vessel form which acts as a vehicle to bring to expression my ideas and feelings as an artist and human being.
Although I enjoy and admire the work of many potters making functional wares, I am not concerned, in my own work, with usefulness. I am, however, very committed to making vessels as they give focus, direction and context to my ceramics.”

“There is also a fascination with the potential for a simple pot form to hold, carry and imply layers of meanings and references. The formal language of my work reflects the influence of hand built ceramics from different periods and cultures, for example storage jars of West Africa or ritual vessels from Pre-Columbian America.”

footed vessel by David Roberts

‘ Landscape, art and nature, is the world that my ceramics refers to and are influenced by.  The natural world is reflected on a micro and macro level.  In some of my recent work, often in the same piece, I seek equivalents which resonate and echo with the eroded, geological quality of water worn pebbles and rocks together with the contours and traverses of dry stone walls cutting across the Pennine hills above my studio.’

“Since the mid 1970s I have intentionally focused on making large, coil built and Raku fired vessels. I love this way of making as it gives me rounded, volumetric forms which serve as a wonderful three dimensional canvas upon which surface incident derived from the Raku firing can play. The sense of volume and presence that a piece emits when worked over along time period is important to me.  To intensify this tactile and timeworn quality, pieces are often ground and polished after firing.”

” Landscape and nature gives direction and orientation to my work.  The linear patterns on the vessel’s surface can be simultaneously a reference to rock strata and an abstract means of exploring and articulating the complex interweaving of parabolic curves that make up the form of a coil built vessel.  There is an equivalence between the way that a path or trail moves across the local hills and a tangential line exploring and defining the form of a pot. In doing this I am trying to imbue my work with the same sense of presence and spirituality I get from walking in my local hills.  Similarly smoke lines can evoke botanical structure and growth pattern.”

“I use the Raku process as it gives me a consistent and controllable tool in the orchestration of the strength, quality and pattern of carbonisation. The surfaces are not merely covering the form but penetrate deep into the wall of clay resulting in a fusion of form and surface.
At present I am not concerned with colour but with the way richness of tonal variation enhances and defines form. These surfaces are derived from two phenomena; the control of crackle patterns and spotting; resulting from the chemical and physical changes to materials that occur during the rapid firing and cooling of the Raku process, and the linear markings resulting from my application of layers of slip and glaze. These marks both refer inwards to the vessel as a record of the energy of the process to which it has been subjected and outwards as a sign or indicator towards the landscape.’


Tall raku vessel - David Roberts

 ‘Tall vessel with lines’ – David Roberts


Notes on David’s technique :


All the work is coil built and Raku fired. Prior to firing, some surfaces are burnished using various levigated slips. Biscuit firing is between 1000C & 1100C. The Raku firing is between 850C & 950C and is completed by a prolonged smoking and cooling process. Finally the pots are cleaned and where applicable sealed with a natural wax.


Eroded Bowl David Roberts ‘Eroded Bowl’ – David Roberts



'Giant Web Vessel' - David Roberts black and white raku ‘Giant Web Vessel’ – David Roberts



Tall Vessels With Lines David Roberts   vertical striped ceramic raku

‘Tall Vessels With Lines’ – David Roberts



Black on Black Vessel

Black On Black –  David Roberts



Tall VEssels With Ellipses‘Tall Vessels With Ellipses’ – David Roberts


David Roberts Raku Vessel

‘Round , Burnished Vessel with Lines’ by David Roberts



David Roberts Ceramics

 ‘Eroded Vessels’ – David Roberts



Raku Bowl David Roberts

Large raku bowl – David Roberts


Large bowl handbuilt by David Roberts

David Roberts

David Roberts Studio UK  David’s 2 year renovation of an old barn which became his living/studio/gallery space .

An extract from Ceramics Monthly:

” Yet he has created a personal and recognizable style, combining somewhat contradictory features – an organic technique (coiling) to achieve classical and symmetrical forms; a firing process, traditionally inimical toward large pots, to produce ware with an exactly finished glaze. Art school teachers, certainly those of a less adventurous age, would have told him, had he been their student, not to do it because it would not work. But he has done it, and it does. ”

Tony Birks


Vessel with meandering lines


‘Vessel With Meandering Lines’ – David Roberts




Counterpoint Vessel,-33cm-H-x-35cm-D-- by David Roberts

‘Counterpoint Vessel’ – by David Roberts

 Height-33cm -Dia. 35cm



Fractured Landscape- raku pot by David Roberts

‘Fractured Landscape’ – raku pot by David Roberts



Large Weeping Landscape vessel by David Roberts

 ‘Large Weeping Landscape’ vessel by David Roberts




David Roberts  also conducts Masterclasses……..more info…