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Day out visiting York: part 2 CoCA


After viewing the Anthony Shaw collection I moved back into the main hall to look at the displays there.

Sue and Pam got interested in the ‘Hands On Here!’ experience that allowed them to handle a few ceramics including a small one by Merete Rasmussen.

The large open central place is taken up by large Clare Twomey installation, an old large wooden pottery wheel table and two other ceramic displays: Grayson Perry’s Melanie, 2014 and the large pot Hua De Tu An, Flower Pictures II, 2007 by Felicity Aylieff. Personally I found Aylieff’s pot much more appealing as I was drawn to its surface decoration. Perry’s is not as immediate, not just because of its smaller size, but also as it is displayed behind a protective glass barrier. His use of photographic transfers is not as appealing to me as it seems to remove part of its handcrafted essence.

Along the walls were various glass cases showing works by influential studio potters and work that has been inspired by them. Maybe because I was starting to reach my capacity of pot viewing I found these less interesting. Had I started here, I’m certain I would have found many interesting ceramics. This way, I just breezed through them and picked out the pots that grabbed my attention without even paying attention, other than pointing my camera, to who made them and when.

So, here are my ad-hoc quick gut-reaction likes:

In the William Staite Murray display case:

The four pots at the very back from left to right: The Bather, 1930 and Kwan Yin, 1937-1939 by William Staite Murray, Monad, 1987 by Gordon Baldwin and Sea Spray Series, 1980 by James Tower.

In the Hans Coper display case:

1-7. all by Hans Coper from 1959 to 1979.

18. Pot, 1984 by Magdalene Odundo

19. Bottle, 1958-1959 by Hans Coper

23. Vase, 1983 by Paul Brown

In the Alison Britton display case:

Leaning Black and White Pot (left) and Pink and White Pot (right) by Alison Britton

Hippo, 1968 by Rosemary Wren - purely as it reminds me of African themed craft and art objects I encountered during my childhood.


I then proceeded to have a look in the CoCA shop. I had a good look at the sort of pottery displayed here. It is well laid out and not too crowded so that one can see and appreciate the different styles of work.

As in general museum collection, utilitarian wares dominate but there are also a few sculptural pieces such as the painterly shards by Rebecca Appleby which I really liked. Another potter, whose work appealed to my graphic sense of design was Katharina Klug decorates her pots with strong black lines on a white background.

After a little while got talking to the young woman behind the till. She was very knowledgeable and, what started out as a casual chat, became a fairly in depth conversation. Without going into too much detail, I can just say that I felt fairly encouraged that this could be in future be a potential display and sales outlet dependant on the level of quality of my work and whether the selection panel liked them.

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