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catalogue
peter swanson

Tregonning Hill China Clay Project
Pete Swanson's pottery and house which is also the site of his large anagama kiln is situated at the foot of Tregonning Hill the location of the first true China Clay deposit discovered in Great Britain.
William Cookworthy, Quaker and Chemist arrives in Plymouth from London in 1726 establishing himself in premises on Notte Street. For the next 10 years he travels widely throughout Devon, Somerset and Cornwall with his ointments and potions. On these journeys he learns to read the landscape, the flora, fauna and above all in Cornwall the industry of mining and the processes of extracting metals, tin, copper silver and lead, the geology that underlies the land. He is living in the age of wonder, the golden age of the Royal Society, a new world of scientific discovery and experimentation, journals and books. He reads extensively. As an apothecary, his mind was trained to weigh, to measure, and to inquire.
One fateful day he reads Du Halde's book on China and he comes to chapter 6 'Of the Porcelain or China-ware' it is the moment his life changes. In the two letters of Père d'Enrecolles about Jingdezhen, d'Enrecolles writes of Porcelain that is made up of two kinds of stone that must be refined, mixed together and fired with sufficent heat. The two kinds of stone, are kaolin and pertunse. Cookworthy at this moment undestands and knows the secret of porcelain.
In his years of traveling and of observing, Cookworthy had perhaps seen fine white clay being used to repair fissures between furnace bricks, knowing it was commonly used. The other vital material petunse known in Cornwall as soap rock was already known and highly prized, it was already being used in the factories of Chelsea, Bow and Worcester. The genius of Cookworthy was to realise that this was the two materials needed to make true eastern porcelain.
On Tregonning Hill, Cookworthy found deposits of white clay and takes away samples to test, he afterwards discribes it such,'in the parish of Germo, on a hill called Tregonnin hill'.
There are two kinds of rock that he found on Tregonning Hill, a kind of granite locally known as growan or moorstone,(petunse) and the other a pure white clay (kaolin)

To learn more about the history of Porcelain, read Edmund de Waal "The White Road, a pilgrimage of sorts", which my piece draws heavily on. The book is beautifully written and researched. Part Three, The Birth of English Porcelain is a wonderful piece of writing, eloquent and erudite.
More about Cookworthy HERE

 

SMALL BOWL (Guinomi)
Tregonning China Clay with celadon glaze. Impressed PS and TH inside the foot-ring.

Ref: PSTRE-01
Dimensions: height, 4.5cm Ø 7.0cm
Price: £120.00

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SMALL BOWL
Tregonning Hill China Clay with celadon glaze. Broadly cut facets.Impressed SWANSON and TH inside foot ring.

Ref: PSTRE-02
Dimensions: height, 5.0cm
Ø 8.0cm
Price: £120.00

CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW
SMALL BOWL
Tregonning Hill China Clay with celadon glaze. Lovely flared form.Impressed SWANSON and TH inside foot ring.

Ref: PSTB-02
Dimensions: height, 5.0cm
Ø 8.5cm
Price: £120.00

CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW
BOWL
Tregonning Hill China Clay with celadon glaze. Broadly cut facets.Impressed SWANSON and TH inside foot ring. Largest of the four bowls.

Ref: PSTB-04
Dimensions: height, 5.0cm
Ø 10.5cm
Price: £140.00

CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW
Left,Cookworthy's commemorative plaque on Tregonning Hill and the base of a mug in the British Museum, blue decorated, bearing the arms of Plymouth and the inscription 14 March 1768 C.F. The initials probably stand for 'Cookworthy fecit (made it)'.
CONTACT

OAKWOOD GALLERY
5 KENMORE CLOSE
MANSFIELD NOTTS NG19 6RA
TEL: 01623 635777

EMAIL: oakwood.gallery@btinternet.com