inspiring light

close-up the salt-marsh looks very bleached out after the dry winter; in the low dunes of the path there are budding pink thrift flowers, but all else is waiting for warmer weather. the light on a day of misty grey cloud shifting to open blue gaps is entrancing.

rusty colours everywhere – underfoot

a rust coloured rope

orange coloured marsh grass bright against the purple-grey mud at low tide.

water reflecting the sombre light

hoof-prints of a huge red deer that has been wandering about on the marsh – maybe they like to eat seaweed …..

the dunes on the point light up pale and misty as the clouds shift

the brent geese graze on the marsh and fly in and out of the sunlight

high tides have left reflective pools

fingers of salt water explore the sedges and succulents

a smooth green shape turned upside down amongst the marram and wormwood reminds me of celadon glazed chinese porcelain

when the sun pierces the cloud it glitters on the water

the river Stiffkey is very short of water this spring. this is two hours before low tide.

sand, mud, pebbles, sunlight, cloud, saltwater, freshwater, all mingle and make an inspiring day to help me think about the next batch of pots.

last weekend I went to see Anne Mette Hjortshøj’s exhibition of pots at the Goldmark gallery. she is a true inspiration. I met her five years ago at Nic Collins’ “six of the best” celebratory event for woodfirers – she, like me, was helping out – but I didn’t see her work. in the last five years she has become a potter to rival any of the others at Goldmark. her wood fired and saltglazed pots speak of light, I suppose a northern light, sometimes cool, sometimes warm

and an island perched in the Baltic between Sweden and Denmark, Bornholm, where the sea is a strong influence over the land.

the translucent quality of her pale surfaces is produced by brushing on a white slip over a dark clay, and then using ash glazes and the salt process over the top. I find her work really uplifting … and I have to find an excuse to visit Bornholm.

all is explained in this wonderful documentary video which Goldmark have made …..

you can see her pots at the Goldmark Gallery


  1. I too went to the Anne Mette Hjortshoj exhibition, a couple of weeks ago – came away with one of her large imprinted casseroles and a teabowl which I’ve been eating breakfast out of ever since, and a very light wallet – truly lovely work, as is most of the ceramic at Goldmark – a real discovery.

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