today I took sixteen pots to Ely, to Angela Mellor’s gallery. set in this pretty cathedral town, which was an island in the wet wilderness of the Fens in the Middle Ages, the gallery is an exquisite restoration of a sixteen century (or maybe earlier) building, and has a wonderful ceramics pedigree. Angela took it over from Ronald Pile (he restored and conserved the house), who previously had the Primavera Gallery in Cambridge, the prestigious offspring of Primavera in Sloane Street, London, which first showed legendary potters such as Lucie Rie and Hans Coper in the 1950’s.

ely-map.jpg

the pink colour is traditional, made by mixing red earth pigment into the lime render. all the windows make it very light, with plenty of places to put pieces so that the exhibition is visible from the street. and it has a pair of pretty curved outer doors on the very corner.

gallery.jpg

this is one group of pots I took. it was hard to choose the rest, some of my new work is quite different, and its important to have pieces which work together.

p1030586.JPG

In the end I chose some new and some old pieces.

I am pleased to find such a beautiful setting for this big bottle and three other pieces from the last firing I had (in September).  some pieces are from late last year, like this barium glazed flask

12-chalk-beach-flask-with-porcelain-inlay-34cm-high-x-27cm-wide.jpg

it was hard to find many pots which weren’t almost white, made me realise I must glaze more pieces with the copper/tin/dolomite and the wood ash/clay glazes.

we walked over to the cathedral, past the old bishop’s palace, a fifteenth century brick building, with “diapering”, the crisscrossing pattern of light and dark bricks,

p1030588.JPG

and wonderful creatures attached, almost like gargoyles,

p1030592.JPG

and a tripartite niche with intricate but badly weathered stone carving.

p1030593.JPG

the cathedral is not so impressive from the West end, but there is some beautiful stone carving, very simple, as on these Romanesque arches.

p1030597.JPG

the cathedral was begun in the eleventh century as a monastic church, and only became a cathedral in 1109. the Romanesque style of the West end seems severe and plain compared to the later airy confections of the Perpendicular and Gothic. these are be seen at the other end of the cathedral, but we didn’t get past the cafe.

p1030596.JPG

between the gallery and the cathedral there are several splendid old houses.

p1030589.JPG

and round the corner, near the cathedral, this enormous place lurks, with its chimney-like towers. at present I can’t identify it, but it looks as though it belongs to the cathedral complex.

p1030599.JPG

another visit I think I would take a map and have a better look around.