museum pots

Have you ever heard of the Weald and Downland museum at Singleton near Chichester in Sussex ?

It was opened 41 years ago and has developed into the best museum ever.It re-erects houses and buildings from the weald and downland in their original form.They dismantle them and when investigated they can see how they were originally built.They also run courses and regularly appear on telly.

The museum has a special meaning for me the day I first visited my father died on that evening, I spent some of my honeymoon there ,my daughter was taken as soon as she was able and I plan to take my grandchildren there.If you have never been you have a treat to come,here is their website for a look see.

I love the place so when I found out how much they were paying for their pottery,for use and display I volunteered to make it for them.They have a tudor kitchen on telly loads of times,for which they need pots that are not cracked chipped etc to pass modern elf n safety standards,there hasn’t been an outbreak of bubonic consumptive cholera yet.

My favourite house in the bayleaf Farm house a hall and solar house,the hall has an open fire on a hearth in the middle the smoke just rising to a louvre in the roof,at bed time the hot ashes would be gathered into a pile and covered by a pot called, from the French coer fuere, cover the fire,from which our English word curfew came from,when the fire was covered it was time to go to bed.

My new job for the museum is to make store jars to furnish one of the houses,they are various sizes and all have a flange at the top,for a waxed linen top.This keeps out the plague, one of the jars was demolished by a robin perching on it when very wet.Later Robin the pot demolisher did it again but luckily it was drier,so has it imprints on the rim.I hope to have them done for christmas,a nice present for the museum.On boxing day they put on  A Tudor Christmas some of the houses are decked out in decorations and they make tudor food in the kitchen.My favourite tudor dish is prune suckets,very boozy prunes in red wine and spices.

Lady of the tudor age with one of my jugs

Why not visit the museum, I always get the feeling of peace there and is well worth a go.


About timbartell

I was born in a flat in Lambeth the name of which was, Wedgewood house,China walk estate.I'd forgotten this until recently,it dawned on me the significance of the names after I had become interested in pottery/ceramics.I think of myself as a potter in the most practical sense,making pots for people to use.I have never had any formal training,I took it up when the table tennis class was full.My first flat was in the same road as a pottery centre, Elmwood pottery, the best in London, 18 sessions a week and a real community. I love my craft and bore everyone with it, so am grabbing this chance to bore more people via this blog.There may be the odd interesting item, here's hoping.
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2 Responses to museum pots

  1. Jo Atherton says:

    I love the simplicity of those storage jars. Are they made with your local clay? Looking forward to seeing them at the museum one day!

    Will you be painting cats and flowers on them? I know how much you love those handicraft designs!! They’d look very pretty sat on a doiley.

  2. j says:

    It’s a melange of all the clays as i use it the reclaim mixes it up and it ends up a dark blend with a significant coffee back of the palate ribena,berry and nut taste.innit.It will be painted in lovely daisies and bunny rabbits.They are in the kiln right now,I have raw glazed them,hope they did ok will post some pics when they’ve cooled down.

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