Picnic: with Alice Kettle

A collaboration with Alice Kettle.

Alice: My pairing with Cj has been spontaneous and joyful. She had laid out her paper firing discs with her distinct ceramic cups and saucers placed on them. The pattern of them inspired me to respond in stitch; I was so intrigued by the diagrammatic framework of the lines, and the vibrant spots of orange which notated the cycle of firing.

The connection between the ceramic and cloth has evoked the symbolism of tea taking, the nostalgia of the ritual and all its personal and cultural associations.

The response I can make with my current experimentation digital stitch seems fitting. Cj’s interest in recycling and giving new identity to ceramic has led me back to my personal collection of stitched tablecloths which now in her manner I am stitching over and reclaiming into the present.

Cj: Alice asked me if I would respond somehow to her beautiful golden coffee pot. We discussed the possibilities of using my patterns in combination with Aynsley traditional florals, and the pieces I had made for the BCB commission were there as a reference. This informed the collaboration, with the firing sheets from my firing cycles becoming the focal point for Alice’s wonderful first stitched tablecloth – it’s been quite off the cuff, and so easy to work with Alice, snatched conversations in corridors in Manchester and London, but it’s worked! Although I do feel that I’ve got more to contribute and just not enough time… We’ve developed the first piece into a picnic set of sorts, combining text, luminous orange and gold as details – it’s still a work in progress, but I’m excited about the future possibilities!