Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Laura Green and Doulton

I have been looking into an ancestor of mine again today. Don't know why - actually I do; a guy on an LJ blog was talking about genealogy and how he had discovered something belonging to a great-great someone that he was able to buy. I decided to do a quick search on some of my ancestors, just in case. The one most likely to have something on ebay was my great grandmother who was an artist at Royal Doulton in the 1870s-1880s before she married and came to Australia. Her name was Laura Green.

Nothing on ebay so far but, when I googled her, there is a web site in Germany that has a piece of pottery with her signature on it (can't afford that) and I found another antique site that lists the marks used by the various artists at the different pottery works. So today I discovered the marked used by Laura Green on any pottery she was involved in.

I didn't discover she was an artist at Doulton until last year when I found an entry for her in the 1881 Census of England that gave her occupation as artist. We knew there was some connection to Doulton though. I have a photo of a woman signed with a mark of and H surrounded by two B's, the one on the left is backwards. I have always wondered about this photograph, as I was told many years ago by my Aunt that she had been an artist at Doulton and was a close friend of Laura's.

One night I was watching the Antiques Roadshow and they were showing a Doulton vase and were discussing the artist, Hannah Barlow, and showed her mark. It was the one on the photo. I raced into my study and found the photo to check the mark, and it was identical. I finally had the name of the friend of my great-grandmother who was a Doulton artist. Apparently Laura was her assistant for a while at the Lambeth Doulton works. I have yet to get hold of a definitive Doulton history so I can find out more about the type of work she did there.

It is funny that for all those years I knew there was some connection to Royal Doulton but only discovered it by a fluke of watching a show on TV.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Another story to be published!

Well, 'Pest Control' is being published in FlashSpec as well as 'The Hounds.'. I sent it off on Sunday afternoon, received a response within an hour and later that night, the proof. So 2 publications this year! Yay! I have already exceeded my goal for publications for this year. (A friend is getting on my back about setting that goal higher. I haven't been interested up until recently, as my time has been pretty much solely focussed on Katie, but I know I need to aim a little higher now. I have more time to devote to writing, but still not heaps.)

Drawing class tonight. We learnt about measuring. A very painstaking process, measuring all the dimensions of an object and drawing it using the measurements to get the dimensions right. Not something I would want to do too often.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Drawing Class

Tonight was my second drawing class. We learned about negative spaces. Very interesting. You look at an object but look at the spaces and shapes around the object and draw those instead of the actual object. The white space in between those drawn shapes represents the original object. I started going cross-eyed after focussing on a picture of a motorbike and drawing the spaces inbetween the spokes of the wheel for half and hour or so. But it was fun and challenging. I think it appealed to my mathematical side.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Blue dark

K. and I were sitting at the dinner table in our living room and she was eating her dinner. She looked up and out the window and turned to me and said 'Blue dark.' It was about 5pm and it was beginning to get dark outside. K.'s description of it was spot on. It was blue dark. Not yet black or silvery night. That deep blue tinge that the sky takes on as the sun sets beyond our sight, yet still lightens the sky enough to see the blue.

Happy Birthday Bruce! Hope the blue dark doesn't set in too early on your spring day out.

Monday, May 08, 2006

First drawing class

Tonight was my first drawing class. We were shown a technique, the name of which I can't remember, which is to do with looking at an object, tracing its shape with your eyes, whilst drawing the shape onto paper without looking at what you are drawing. This is to get your right brain active. before we started this activity the teacher had us all draw a portrait of another person in the class, so that at the end of the course we can do it again and see the difference. That was a bit confronting but it will be interesting to see the outcome.

The course is for 8 weeks and my friend and I am going to look for something else to do, art wise, at the end of that time. I don't think one night a week off is too much to ask.