Friday, April 22, 2011

Pot dogs

` As dog figures go, the Staffordshire Spaniel has no peer. It was a quintessential mantle ornament to any home loving, dog adoring family in Great Britain. I've been making some of my own 'pot dogs'; keeping true to the basic idea but adding embellishments here and there.





One dog above has a bluebird around his neck and dreams of going back home, while the other sits on a river bank as a fish swims silently by .







Cats qualify for the mantle too, especailly tortoiseshell cats. One has a teapot, the other a cup.
The tiny pair in front are salt glazed, about 1820.







The Spaniel mania began in the 1660's when King Charles II came to the throne, his adoring crew of King Charles spaniels capering around him at the palace like a gaggle of geese. And in the center of England, there were the Staffordshire potteries with all that clay, salt , water and coal for firing and the icon of all dog figures was born.







Above, a sample page of more things the potteries produced. This charming page courtesy of



James Kent Potteries and Reggie of Reggie Darling. He has a wonderful blog, and an amazing array of Staffordshire too.



www.reggiedarling.blogspot.com/

All this beauty and whimsy came from this remarkable, bottle kilned, coal spewing, terrible, beautiful area of England. Women, men and children worked in shocking conditions and usually for twelve to sixteen hours a day. At one time more than 100 seperate potteries operated here, the center of the pottery world.








My little piece of history, a small black elephant.





When Victoria became Queen, her Spaniel, Dash came along too. Right after her coronation she returned to the Palace, hurried upstairs and gave Dash a bath. There's a woman who has her priorities in line!






Even though I walk by a rose covered bower on my way to work, I still felt a connection to the hard working, brave craftsmen and women in whose footsteps I followed as I painted these, and they are very hard footsteps to fill, even with my size nine shoes.
xxx



julie











juliewhitmorepottery.etsy.com

37 comments:

Librarian said...

Thank you for explaining how it came about that these dog figures are still seen in so many places in England - a lot of them, today, on the decorative shelves that run just below the ceiling in many a pub.

The ones you made are very special - like all your creations.

Happy Easter!

Flutterby Patch said...

As a lifelong fan of Staffordsfhire pottery I adore your work Julie. A visit to your blog never fails to make me smile, its wonderful. Keep making us smile and have a happy Easter, Eli.

Claire said...

Hey Julie, your figurines are lovely.

Adding, teapots, cups, bluebirds and fish makes them even more delightful/

Knowing that your pieces are made in such a lovely environment and you enjoy what you do, makes them all the more special...........

Enjoy your weekend,

Claire :}

A time to dance said...

I am in love with them...beautiful Julie, I love staffordshire pottery, but only have copies....hope those feet are warm and snug in their new socks...

cabin fever said...

Julie!
What a fantastic blog. LOVE all of your history, especially love your animals........and I had to go and check in with my little staffordshire dogs that live on MY mantle.

Thanks for sharing.

Love, Liz XO

cabin fever said...

Julie!

What a fantastic blog. LOVE your antique history, especially love your animals - Mr. Elephant!

I went and checked in with my miniature Staffordshire dogs that live on MY mantle.

Thanks for sharing.
Love, Liz XO

Mary Welsh Hubbard said...

Your pieces are awesome - I love the base decoration on them.

cabin fever said...

PS - I forgot to say how much I love that little blue banner over your books. Such a favorite color!!!

Liz XO

Valerianna said...

Beautiful - both the work and your words. Amazing to realize that such wonder came out of the ashes, or, maybe, there was so much beauty coming from there because it was so needed by the makers.... thanks for sharing this.

lilylovekin said...

I love Staffordshire pottery and have one small piece a little sheep-it needs a Julie dog to guard it!

Lori ann said...

Your footprint is gorgeous, and unlike the pottery of the past, yours is made with love in every step, i'm sure.

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

as a dog and cat LOVER i find these just charming ~~~

they are very special...wasn't it The Pomegranite Inn in Portland, Maine were we saw that Staffordshire ????

i don't have any...but i wish i did...

happy easter

me

Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

Thanks for your comments pals,
hey Farmhouse. Yes. Wasn't that the most amazing B and B ever?
me

hensteeth said...

Julie,
firstly thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful comment.
It is always the greatest pleasure to visit here. I am a Staffordshire Girl and am very proud of Staffordshire's history and it is a true and genuine pleasure to see how this history has inspired your amazing work. x

Zuzu said...

Love all these, Julie, and learning a little more about the history as well!
Wishing you a lovely weekend & Easter,
Zuzu

Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

Viv, that comment means so much to me. Imagine; there you are, in that place so dense with history and craft the air must vibrate with it!
xx

vicki said...

Hi Julie-
What an interesting story- such great history connected to the pottery! I love the cats!!
My plate arrived yesterday and it is beyond gorgeous! I love it - love it- love it!

ALMOST bought that fabulous honeypot today~~ I put it in my cart- went to pay- and when it all cycled around- it came up as sold already- Lol!! Congrats to the person who beat me out by a few seconds!!

Happy Easter dear Julie-
Vicki

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

I have two of these that I rec'd for a wedding gift, that I put away when we moved . . . it's time to break them out again! Love your work! Have a wonderful Easter!

The Cloth Shed said...

Julie,
Love your take on the Staffordshire dogs....they are so fantastically quirky!
Old ceramics can be so inspiring especially when you add a contemporary twist to them, which you do to perfection.
So talented....
Julie x

cabin fever said...

Hello again, Julie-

I know the Pomegranate Inn in Portland, Maine! Portland is my most favorite place to visit, and it's especially nice when Ted is home in Portland!

Did you see on the news all of the Right whales on the Cape??!! People are lining the beach in P'Town to see them.

Happy Easter to you and all of your wonderful pottery.

XO Liz

Aunt Jenny said...

Aw Julie..these are wonderful. I loved hearing about how the history of them as well. I rememeber my grandma having a little dog like this (figurine I mean) in her home when I was little. I wonder where it is now?
You work is just so perfect.
I drank blood orange tea from a little cottage cup and cookies from a hedgehog plate today...just so perfect. You make my day!

Reggie Darling said...

How lovely, and thank you for the nice commentary and link you provided. I am delighted with your blog and your charming pottery, and have signed up as a follower. Many thanks, Reggie

Reggie Darling said...

How lovely, and thank you for the nice commentary and link you provided. I am delighted with your blog and your charming pottery, and have signed up as a follower. Many thanks, Reggie

Wish on a Whisker said...

Julie~ Wishing you a Merry Easter! Your new creations are beautiful. Love~ Mandy

susan jenkins said...

Julie, these are just beautiful and such an informative blogging! Loved it all!!
xx Susan

em said...

julie, thanks for the comment... i see where you live is pretty as well! i'm envious of your ocean! i love your whimsical pottery!

jim-brecht said...

Love YOUR Staffordshire dogs and cats. They have wonderful personalities and seem very accessible and friendly (Not quite so serious as their counterparts) Love their extras too which is truly Julie Whitmore magic...a teapot here and there.....

pat said...

you might have created Spaniel AND kitty mania yourself.... they are so fantastic. I was at Carolyn's a few weeks ago, and had a chance to see the Julie Whitmore collection up close and personal... Wow is all I can say... spectacular, indeed!

dulcy said...

Thank you Julie for all this very interesting information, and of course, your charming dogs and cats. I especially love the way you add the bit of whimsy with their little bluebirds and fish. I just love it when you post something new to your blog. Such a treat!
xo
dulcy

Laura said...

i love these. and thanks for the illumination regarding the origins of the spaniels. very interesting!

jen storer said...

Just perfect, Julie. jxx

Patricia Griffin said...

Love your whimsical pups! I got to see some of your work at Chambers Gallery recently. Delightful!

T's Daily Treasures said...

Thanks for the history on these beautiful pieces. You are certainly creating some beautiful history of your own. Best wishes and blessings, Tammy

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Your pot dogs Julie - they 'rock'! Love their dreamy expressions. x

Lynne said...

They're all lovely. Interesting to see the history side of them.

Wish on a Whisker said...

JuliE~ Just had to tell you how much I LOVE the new piece pictured on your blog header! Gorgeous!! ~Mandy

Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

Thank you Mandy!
xx

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