Telling Tales


Once there was a woman who made dolls and other objects by simply sewing together small pieces of fabric. She created little characters with pretty faces and handmade clothes. Her husband was a talented potter who was skilful at turning a lump of wet clay, dug from the earth, into beautiful and practical shiny objects that people wanted to display in their homes. One day they decided it was time to bring their talents together and create new and exciting objects that people had never seen before, and so they set to work.

Telling tales, as I have mentioned before in previous posts, is a big part of what interests me in my own and other people’s work.

The sometimes shocking but always memorable, fast paced folk tales that were collected by the Brothers Grimm in the C18th have formed the basis of many tales that we still tell today. The very fabric of those tales have been woven into our nightmares and our modern day stories told in glitzy movies, animations and novels – retold by new authors, artists, directors and actors with a twist on the traditional.

We may not recognise the characters as being Snow White or Cinderella anymore but the tale and the dilemmas are still the same, with dark scary forests, quests into the unknown, rewards for the brave, morals and lessons to learn.

Stories from Hans Christian Anderson and the Grimm tales were there all the time in my childhood, I would read through the same books time and again, admiring the illustrations from Northern European artists who added a visual dimension to what I was imagining in my head.

Today I’m excited to be re-reading them with new delight, under the guidance of a newly purchased paperback from the pen of modern day author Philip Pullman.

I’m hoping that these tales will be filtering into my new design ideas that I’ll be creating in partnership with Paul. We are both standing at the beginning of a new tale – collaborating on a new venture into the unknown told through the medium of clay. Let’s see what this tale will tell.



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