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As a result of the open studios last weekend I now have my first order to make – oooheee!

Entertainingly, my parents and my uncle (mum’s brother) all came to visit and both uncle and mum decided they wanted a set of the same mug. I had about 15 different shapes (variations of 4 basic forms) but they both chose the same one.

So, I have been busy trying to make 6 mugs the same as the fired model and all matching each other. It’s taken me a few goes to get back into mugs as I had moved on to bowls, and it’s been a bit tricky getting the proportions exactly the same – as you can see from the pic above. In the end I made about 2 dozen for practice and will pick out the best when they are done.

Interestingly (for me at least) my uncle also commented that my work had a “touch of SB about it”. SB being Susan Bosence, his mother, my grandmother, and a respected textile designer/printer in her day. She did have a very strong aesthethic in her work and her home which I certainly always loved. She was a big inflence on me, and I still miss her a lot. Perhaps she does live on in some unconscious way in my own work…

Susan Bosence (1913-1996) (From VADS)

Born in Luton, Bedfordshire, Susan Bosence became connected with the crafts at Dartington Hall School, Devon in 1939, where she worked as the headmaster’s secretary. Here she was introduced to Barron and Larcher’s hand-blockprinted textiles by the Elmhirsts, the owners of the Dartington Estate.

Bosence married and raised a family at Dartington, and began producing printed and dyed fabrics for domestic use. In 1950, aged 37, a visit to Phyllis Barron* and Dorothy Larcher* provided great encouragement. Her earliest experiments were in resist-dyed cotton, using indigo. Her printed designs developed from simple block patterns to combinations of resist and print, always abstract and on a variety of cotton grounds.

In the 1960s Susan Bosence ran a class in printing and dyeing at the Adult Education Centre, Dartington. In 1966, she moved to Oxenham Farm, Sigford, Devon where she converted outbuildings into a print workshop with indigo vat. Her solo exhibition at the Ceylon Tea Centre, London (1961) had brought many orders and invitations to teach and these defined the pattern of her life for the next 15 years. As well as making textiles, Bosence was a visiting tutor at Camberwell and West Surrey colleges of art. Her book Hand Block Printing and Resist Dyeing was published in 1985 and she continued working and exhibiting until the early 1990s.

*Denotes included in the Crafts Study Centre Collection

(All prints are by linoblock unless otherwise stated.)

 

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