Monday, October 18, 2010

Moments from Table Manners...

Jane Walton Attic

We sometimes forget to stop and enjoy a meal at home with family and the pleasure of eating off good quality and unique dinnerware that was chosen to stand the test of time reflecting style, quality and the need for care and appreciation that came with table manners.

Attic is for my Grandmother who would be glad that I have unwrapped the dinner set she ordered in 1937 from Royal Doulton and have begun to use it once again and that it is not left it in a box in the attic or cupboard to be forgotten.

Gerry Wedd Cheers

I suppose I tried to make the cup and saucer as simply as possible yet still get across both the evidence of its making and a kind of elegant fragility I tend to associate with elderly women and the serving of tea.

The pieces were ‘pinched’ into form replete with finger whorls and decorated with motifs from the lymph system.

Naoko Coghlan Yukiyama

My inspiration for this design is the natural hot springs found in the snow covered Alps of Japan. The Shino glaze, which I have used on this piece, is one of my favourite glazes. Since coming to Australia three years ago, this glaze has established a special place in my work as it reminds me of the Japanese winter snow.

My hope is that this tea cup set will be used by someone to warm and enrich a moment of their winter in Melbourne.

Robyn Hosking High Tea at the Windsor

Rendered from porcelain but reworked from toys, my ceramic figures and sculptures revel in their duality. Looking like a hybrid between art, machine and toy they maintain a circus-like sense of amusement and curiosity for the viewer, all the while sending up societal norms.

Gentile etiquette, epitomised by high tea at the Windsor belongs to a different age.  As hackneyed as it sounds, a Brave New World is upon us, stranger perhaps, than our imaginations can conceive of. Pets have become substitute children, dressed and pampered accordingly. Lapping afternoon tea from fine china would not even raise an eyebrow.

Zoe Baker Fractured Remembrance

Sometimes we drank tea from finest bone china. At other times we used tin mugs by a campfire with a rock or log for a saucer and a slab of fruitcake in the other hand.

My parents brought their Wedgewood china and their impeccable post-Victorian English manners with them when they emigrated in the 1960s, and transplanted them into the post-colonial Australian bush.

They fell in love with the landscape, put down roots in mallee bushland, and brought us up in a house built from locally quarried stone. We sang madrigals and read Shakespeare, and we tramped through the bush in all weather.

We always had tea, and we always made it in a pot from loose leaves.

Even now, when friends come over, the first thing I do is put the kettle on for tea. But we hardly ever use saucers.

Photos: Kim Brockett

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