Roots by the river Swale - Diana Mitchell

Inspiration details:

Grass Tea Ware

Porcelain tea kettle and Cover

Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

ca. 1880

Belleek pottery

Porcelain, slip-cast body and spout

V&A collection reference number(s):
C.77:2-1995

Artist Statement

Diana Mitchell

Here is a teapot-maker I could really identify with, his sculptural depiction of tree branches interlaced to form a handle while roots, writhing and inter-weaving, provide the surface decoration on this Grass Ware teapot turning an every-day object into a flight of fancy. It just invites you to pick it up, to cradle it in your hands and feel the texture. As a printmaker working in the medium of etching I have been experimenting with drawing directly from observation onto the plate with litho-crayon and etching it in strong acid to produce a deeply textured surface from which to print. In this way I hope to capture some of the immediacy of the subject with the textured surface of the plate making a deep impression into the paper and adding a three dimensional element to the image. This particular tree was growing precariously close to the banks of the river Swale where flooding had eroded the earth and exposed the roots creating an intricate interwoven structure above the ground. Whilst the roots entwined around the teapot embrace and hug the surface, these roots are an echo of the shape of the ground that has been swept away from them. My tutor, David Holah, at Morley College has continued to encourage me to explore this particular etching technique and this is one of my first experiments with using coloured ink for wiping different areas of the plate.

Roots by the river Swale - Diana Mitchell

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Inspiration details:

Grass Tea Ware

Porcelain tea kettle and Cover

Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

ca. 1880

Belleek pottery

Porcelain, slip-cast body and spout

V&A collection reference number(s):
C.77:2-1995

2015 Exhibition Guide

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