Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Adam Dworski - A Potter's Centenary

It's week around Herefordshire, and over at Pottery Cottage in Clyro there's an exhibition on celebrating the life and work of Adam Dworski.
He lived there, and had his studio there for many years, until he moved to a studio just across the main road (now demolished).
Pottery Cottage is now owned by the Balch family - Oliver, who wrote Under the Tump recently, about life in the area, and Emma, who runs A Book A Day in Hay website amongst other things, and they were keen to have the exhibition in the house. Gareth Howell-Jones was there to take me round the exhibition - which was his idea originally.
The tour begins in the room which was Adam Dworski's original studio - he really didn't need a lot of room to work in. The potter's wheel is borrowed, but the stool and rug are the ones Adam used himself. In what is now the bathroom are two black and white photographs - one of Adam Dworski, and one of his daughter Marijana, aged five, holding a pot and taken in that very room. Adam and his wife Patricia had three children, Marijana, who became a bookseller in Hay-on-Wye (and now Presteigne), Adam and Mark.
The exhibits are displayed on tables and window ledges and in cabinets around the house. Barbara Erskine has lent the sculpture that Adam Dworski made for her after the success of her book Lady of Hay, of Matilda de Braose riding side saddle on a horse. There are also sculptures of Leda and the Swan and Europa and the bull, two of the seductions of Zeus from Classical mythology. Mostly, though, he made domestic pottery - beautifully elegant little milk jugs, for example - and there's a plate with the words "Run For Your Wife, Shaftesbury Avenue" which he made for the cast of the first production of the play, because one of his friends was performing in it. He also made plaques, of fish, and mounted knights, and Madonnas. He experimented with porcelain, and he also painted. I was fascinated by the book of sketches he made of a 1950s visit to Croatia, his homeland, with his wife - some very good sailing boats, and pictures of walks in the hills, and evenings sitting at outdoor tables, waving bottles in the air.
There's a booklet on sale about the exhibition, made locally, for £4, which gives some more information about Adam Dworski's life, and comments by Marijana Dworski, Gareth Howell-Jones and Emma Balch.
It's a fascinating exhibition, and only on for this week!

And these plaques are on the wall outside Pottery Cottage.

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