Friday, 29 August 2014

Making the 1718 Coverlet Ceramics

So having said 'Yes' to making the series of pieces based on the gorgeous 1718 Patchwork Coverlet, only THEN did I give some thought as to how I would go about it!

I studied the online image of the whole quilt (see my last post) and contacted Susan Briscoe, (author of 'The 1718 Coverlet'), who sent me her own master plan of the quilt on which she had numbered each individual block, making it easy for me to identify the close-up images I required for the pots.

There was no point printing off the images, as they would not be the size I needed for my pieces, so I just drew the online image free-hand onto card which I then cut out to make a template.

Template placed into position on the clay slab.
The template was then placed into position on the already rolled out clay slab so that I could mark out the image with a clay tool.

Design completely marked out and border being added 
Obviously, for some blocks, I didn't need a card template.  Geometric shapes are ok - geese are another matter!  I wanted to set the whole design off with a decorative border and, appropriately, used a lace imprint.

Fired once, glaze applied and awaiting second firing in kiln.
The picture above shows the same design but with a different lace-patterned border (photographic consistency not my strong point!).  This would then come out of the kiln all finished except for the thread and button detail.  You saw the finished version of this one in the last post.  Here are some of the others.

Large and small bowls out of the kiln, but not yet with thread and button attachments

I wanted to concentrate mainly on the blocks around the name and date block, as I felt that was significant.

Close-up of the original name/date block, courtesy of Sue Briscoe
But who was EH?  Did we ever find out?  I seriously wondered about her (him??!!) whilst I was making all these.  I thought about joyful colours, detail, imagery, perseverance, patience, skill, talent, creativity, fulfilment, history, life in 1718, and a thousand other things ....  even whether she was up there watching me!

My potter's mark centre top in the border
Can you see my potter's mark here on this piece?  CD and EH - working together!
Now you get the process, my final 1718 post next time will be few words and many pictures.

Have a great weekend.  Getting Autumny .... back to school .... sharpen those pencils!

Cathy x


  1. These are beautiful Cathy.

  2. They are truly wonderful, and very evocative. I have always wondered about the makers of embroideries and quilts, old and new. Each one is a very personal thing, even those that are created around printed patterns. But quilts, even more so, are very personal as a lot of the time the creator was using fabrics to hand, old clothes, bedding, even animal feed sacks and such like. They give us a fascinating insight into the world at that time.

  3. It is so interesting to see how you make these Cathy. They are just beautiful!! xx

  4. wow, they're gorgeous Cathy x

  5. What a wonderful post Cathy - you should feel very proud of yourself. These bowls are so beautiful and I am sure the quilt maker (whether male or female!) would be overjoyed to see their work reproduced in this way. Well done you clever girl!!!

  6. Looking gorgeous Cathy - would love to get hold of one. xx

  7. Looking great - I imagine the quiltmaker would be positively bemused by the idea of anybody being inspired by what he or she had done, but no doubt completely thrilled!

  8. They are beautiful, I just love the idea of quilts inspiring pottery, and I think you manage to translate the charm and homeliness of quilts amazingly into another medium.

  9. Absolutely love these, especially the initials ones. It is interesting how one can 'feel' other quilters when working with their designs.

  10. I love how you look at a quilt, then you proceed to create your own unique interpretation of it. How nifty is that?? Very nice work! It does make you wonder about EH-who was she and what was her life like?

  11. these are just incredible, great work Cathy!

  12. These are wonderful - you are very talented :-)

  13. Aren't I the lucky one to have seen all these in real life! And I even have one very similar all my own thanks to Cathy's generosity.
    They are already on sale at the Quilt Museum in York in conjunction with the 1718 coverlet exhibition coming up this weekend.
    All your UK readers should make the effort to see this event - I missed out by a week. Bad planning I say!
    Beautiful work Cathy!


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