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Oxfordshire Craft Guild: The Turrill Gardens, Summertown
On a spring day a visit to the Craft Guild show in the gardens next to Summertown library will delight you. Displayed among flowers, shrubs and trees are innovative sculptures that would enhance any garden.
Anne Arlidge’s Temptation Apples are made by rolling a globule of hot, clear glass into green grit which is then covered with clear glass. These tantalising and delicate ‘apples’ hanging from the branches reflect different parts of the garden as they move gently in the breeze.
It is fitting that birds are celebrated in this rural setting. Inspired by a visit to Florida, Wendy Fowler’s Pelicans (pictured) stand happily among the dogwood. To get the appearance of stitching, she takes white stoneware, rolls the clay on to netting and lays it on to the body-shaped mould of the bird. Finally the sculpture is painted in soft colours.
Jane Hanson decorates her unusually shaped craft-crank Round Birdbath with soft glowing shades of terracotta and fawn that melt into one another in the kiln and reflect the tree trunks and stones nearby.
Jeanne Jackson is normally a ceramicist but is also a keen birdwatcher; hence her interest in the form and shape of these birds. In Costa Rica, attracted to the graceful Heron, she made drawings which she translated into a linear three-dimensional wire sculpture that allows the plants to be an integral part of this attractive see-through and airy bird.
By contrast Richard Ballantyne’s Three Hens sit solidly together. The glazed effect, which is the result of the raku technique, suggests feathers and is a perfect medium for these plump domestic birds.
Harriet Coleridge’s stoneware Salmon hangs on the wall of the garden; the Cotswold stone makes a perfect background for this attractive fish. Her stoneware and porcelain Tiled Table on a locally made wrought-iron four-legged stand invites one to sit down and enjoy this lovely exhibition in the shade of the birch tree. The exhibition runs until April 28. Mondays and Fridays 9.30am-5.30pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays 9.30am-7pm, Saturdays 9am-4.30pm.