Monday, 22 July 2019

Maggie Hobbs - Flatback Pottery and needlefelting

Our latest lecture on Saturday was from Maggie Hobbs. She was telling us about her passion for flatback pottery and how this has been combined with her love of needlefelting.

Maggie started by explaining the history of Staffodshire Flatback pottery, which was made for the masses.  It was typically very ornate and colourful, cheap and made in moulds. These cheap bits of pottery allowed middle class people to decorate their homes and it was quite common for people to have a go at painting their own. This is just one thing Maggie collects. She showed us lots of images from the collection at Compton Verney.

One of Maggies pottery pieces
Maggie's journey into needlefelting started when a builder let her down - she wasn't able to carry on with her normal "messy" hobbies of making pottery because the garage was out of action and she couldnt make a mess in the house.  Seeing her getting increasingly frustrated at not being able to create her daughter bought her a needlefelting kit and Maggie was hooked.  This fox is the first thing she made. He was very cute!  Maggie finds needlefelting a very flexible medium - the only downside when you start is the "pointy pain"

Since then she has moved on to making lots of different things - many based on flatback pottery.

she likes making birds

 Many of the pieces are mounted on wooden blocks with glass domes over the top. This gives them the feel of Victorian curiosities (to my mind anyway)

Maggie has also made some very realistic fish. The tree is an example of one of her first attempts to replicate the pottery.

These are some pottery brooches 

Maggie has been represented in several galleries over the last few years and taken part in events like Open Studios. It was a lively and interesting talk and a good example of how to combine two of your loves.  Thank you Maggie for a great lecture.

(I have promised myself that I DON'T need a collection of needle felted pebbles - these were the bases to some of the pieces and they were works of art in their own right)


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