“I have often wish’d I had saved a single specimen of all the new articles I have made, and would now give twenty times the original value for such a collection. I am now, from thinking, and talking a little more upon this subject … resolv’d to make a beginning.” So said Josiah Wedgwood in 1774, as he laid the foundations for one of the greatest ceramics collections in the world. The Wedgwood Museum was first opened to the public in 1906, and for more than a century it has been telling the story of how six towns in north Staffordshire were transformed through clay and coal into the world-famous Potteries.

Then, in 2009, the Wedgwood business went into administration and, through a wretched quirk in pension law, brought the museum down with it. Suddenly, this extraordinary testament to the genius of Josiah Wedgwood and the unrivalled skills of Stoke-on-Trent’s potters was at risk of a fire-sale to fill a £134m pension black hole.

Today, the fight to save the Wedgwood collection begins in earnest as the Art Fund joins forces with the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Victoria & Albert Museum to raise the final £2.75m of the £15m price tag. It is a campaign to which, I hope, Guardian readers might contribute, because if you haven’t yet made it to Barlaston to see the 8,000-strong collection – from black jasper Portland designs to bone china tea sets and Robert Adam-designed vases – you are missing out on one of the most compelling accounts of British industrial, social and design history.


mediumaevum:

Bidriware is a handicraft that originated in the 14th century India, and was very popular for centuries. 

(An alloy of copper and zinc is casted into a desired shape, and then coated with a strong solution of copper sulphate, to get a black glaze. An artisan then uses a metal stylus to etch intricate designs by removing the coating.)

This technique has made a great comeback in the most unlikely fashion. Artisans are now making USB drive covers, office stationery, lampshades and even floor tiles. Read on

(Top image: A 17th century, Bidriware Hookah base at Louvre)


kintsugi-repair:

Guess what this is. 

This is is a tool called taiki, which means tai fish tooth. Don’t say it’s creepy. It’s a traditional tool to polish gold. Tai fish has strong teeth, so it is one of the best tool to make sprinkled gold shinny. 

My friend who also learns kintsugi is a chef, and he gave a dozen of teeth. it’s interesting to handmake kintsugi tools. 

鯛牙をつくってみた!

これは文字通り鯛の牙を筆の柄にくっつけただけの道具で、昔から金を磨くのに使われているらしい。

金継ぎ友の友人が料理人で、鯛の牙をごっそりくれたのだ。ありがたや!

鯛牙はお店でも買えるけど、自分で作るとさらに愛着がわくねー。


in-the-horniman:

We love this pot from Peru. It is made of burnished terracotta and depicts a copulating couple between the shoulder and the neck of the object.

I’ve always wondered if the idea of torture, of violently bloating figure(s)’ stomachs with liquid, was actually involved in the imagery and use of this type of pot.

in-the-horniman:

We love this pot from Peru. It is made of burnished terracotta and depicts a copulating couple between the shoulder and the neck of the object.

I’ve always wondered if the idea of torture, of violently bloating figure(s)’ stomachs with liquid, was actually involved in the imagery and use of this type of pot.


ancientart:

Terracotta askos (flask) in the form of a rooster. Etruscan, 4th century B.C.

The Etruscans produced numerous askoi in the shape of ducks, but askoi in the shape of other birds are quite rare. Only one other rooster-shaped example is known, almost identical to this one. The askos in the form of a jackdaw (Corvus monedula), a Eurasian bird similar to a small crow, is the only one known.
It is adorned with a protective bulla (amulet) necklace of the type usually worn by Etruscan children and must represent someone’s favorite pet.

Courtesy & currently located at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, via their online collections. Accession Number: 29.131.5.

ancientart:

Terracotta askos (flask) in the form of a rooster. Etruscan, 4th century B.C.

The Etruscans produced numerous askoi in the shape of ducks, but askoi in the shape of other birds are quite rare. Only one other rooster-shaped example is known, almost identical to this one. The askos in the form of a jackdaw (Corvus monedula), a Eurasian bird similar to a small crow, is the only one known.

It is adorned with a protective bulla (amulet) necklace of the type usually worn by Etruscan children and must represent someone’s favorite pet.

Courtesy & currently located at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, via their online collections. Accession Number: 29.131.5.