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Meeting St. fence with camellias and bird

Gullah baskets/ Monograms and symbols

18th Century English earthen wares

Projects in Progress


      Often, while traveling, small observances inspire me as much as the monuments and the touted "destinations' and attractions.  And, of course, those products and customs that are indigenous to the particular location.  The projects which I am now developing are examples of this.  During a recent visit to Charleston, SC, I was again made aware of the ever-present symbols of that city: the palmetto and crescent moon, the pineapple symbol of hospitality, and the GULLAH baskets- the beautiful handcrafted products whose traditions have their origins in Africa. 

     However, for me, the spirit Charleston was the sum of an infinite amount of specific characteristics and details- the elegant textures of the bluestone sidewalks, the way the light filtered through overhanging tree limbs, the utter flamboyance of the camellias' blossoms, the glossy foliage of plants against matte black wrought iron fencing, the moss and small ferns attached to handmade bricks, etc.  It is from these types of inspirations, that I seek to develop my products. 

     One of my most vivid impressions was the chance observance of a sparrow perched on a venerable wrought iron finial of a fence along Meeting Street.  This evanescent moment, along with the lush foliage and blossoms, expressed the idea that the beauties of the skilled craftsmanship of the past exist in balance with nature and are timeless.  Sparrows have enjoyed moments of respite since the fence was erected and camellias have bloomed for the enjoyment of passersby just as they did for the original occupants of these lovely homes. 

      Thus, this moment in time, along with the rhythms of the fence's march along a boundary, gave me the idea of allowing a motif to circle about a cylinder- the Hall China "bain-marie." 

The idea of encircling the ceramic with a "fence" is an automatic one.
The primary image of the camellia and the sparrow  and the dimension of the ceramic piece sets the scale. Since this is fairly small, (4 1/2" by 6") I chose to work at 100% original rather than working larger and reducing.  The resolution of the transfer of 400dpi will allow good quality of image.   

The "MEETING STREET BRIQUE A VIN"/ Hall China small crock  inspired by a chance glimpse of a sparrow perched on a wrought iron finial of an iron fence on Meeting St. in Charleston, SC.

From the final pen and ink original drawings, commercial transfers will be made and then applied to these ceramic small crocks/wine chillers.  The lead-free transfers,  once fired at 1400 degrees, are dishwasher and food safe.

THE "GULLAH BASKETS" motif can be used with symbols and monograms  

I find the subtlety of a these studies to be very appealing.  The "decoration" of the basket weaving and the pineapple symbol is elegant in its very simplicity.  The Homer Laughlin wares are durable and practical for every day and patio use. 

The Gullah weavings encircling the mug show to advantage and allow the design to relate to the cylindrical shape. 

The simple Gullah weaving encircling the pineapple symbol can be amplified by the addition of a monogram. 


studies for application to the HALL CHINA small crock/brique a vin

I believe that the best effect is achieved by circling the center with the basket banding, as per the detail of the mug.

The "woven" circle can be infilled with the Charleston Palmetto, a pineapple, or a monogram.

The mug and stein because of different proportions are decorated with variations of the same theme of encircling basket work.  Again the pineapple, palmetto, or initials can be incorporated. 

4 1/4" by 4 1/4" CERAMIC TILE COASTER with cork backing

The "Gullah Basket" design can be used on a wide variety of products from serving trays to teapots.  Above,  is the mug and a 20 oz beer stein.  Again, I want to emphasize that ALL ceramics are made in the  USA. 

The scale of the  Gullah motif can be adapted to many different products. At right is a 15" diameter white FIESTA WARE serving tray.  


Such English tin glazed ("DELFT") wares of the late 18th Century, along with the Chinese Export ones, would have represented some of the finer imported goods to colonial Charleston

Painted studies of motifs

Because of Charleston's status,  AM ADDING TEXT as of 2/3/17
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