Okay, before this summer becomes just a distant memory I'll note down some of my semi-relevant experiences and impressions.
After a busy first year on the Ceramics MA at UCLan I decided to have a bit of a break from pottery and give my family a chance to reacquaint themselves with me. We spent a week in the South-West of France visiting a friend and another two weeks in Germany catching up with family and friends.
As said, I tried to switch off a bit from ceramics but it doesn't mean that my appetite for culture (and a few pots) was non-existent. Here are some of the things that I came across during that time. Who knows whether they'll gain some relevance in my work somehow...
In Lodéve we came across this lovely restaurant, Le Soleil Bleu. Not only do they serve good food but they exhibit and sell good quality ceramics and some prints as well. Definitely worth a visit. This is a good example that a restaurant can be classy yet informal outlet for good quality ceramics that go beyond just being domestic wares.
I didn't want to interrupt the other patrons during their dinner to take better photos so here are just a few examples of what was on show.
We also went on to see an interesting collection of over 100 prints shown in the Lodéve Museum. There were so many fascinating prints to see that I will just pick out three:
I particularly like the print of Dürer who has such clear lines. It was great to see two prints by Piranesi. His Imaginary Prisons have fascinated me since I saw them in a book as a child. They depict mysterious internal architectural spaces that one could so easily get lost in.
Another gem is this print by Goya, whose work also has great fascination for me. His print is such a mad study of bovine vitality and rendered in such beautiful greys.
White walking around Béziers we came across this little pottery studio/shop. It was strange to see what sort of wares they were displaying, i.e. spring chickens, cacti and Christmas trees. I guess that covers all possible home-made present ideas that might entice customers to either come in and buy them or, more likely, to sign up for a short course themselves. It didn't make me want to go in though.
Beside enjoying the good company I was in, the lovely food and wine and brilliant landscape and local architecture I was also taking in some patterns: