A few summers ago I was down in Cornwall with my mother, we visited the newly refurbished Duchy of Cornwall Nursery near to Lostwithiel. It was full of unusual plants and trees as well as wonderful pieces of art and intricacies, to top it off there were delicious home baked cakes! It was during this visit that we were captivated by the beautifully coloured glazes on large decadent platters and vessels, the work of a wonderful potter, Chris Prindl.
We tracked him down and more recently visited him at Trebyan Forge, near to Lanhydrock, his inspiring place of work. Trebyan Forge is a listed building and filled with plentiful reminders of its original working life, untouched by Chris. I was fortunate enough to have free rein with my camera and began to see the smallest of details all around, which I hope have captured the wonderful atmosphere in this historic Forge. Chris is an intriguing potter with a fascinating history, he recollects time in Japan where he spent some time growing up before heading to the UK to go to school and then US to further study ceramics. From there he headed back to Japan, where the language was second nature to him and it was then that he refined his incredible techniques in ceramics before returning to the UK.
Watching Chris working the ‘hump’ was captivating, his steady and skillful hands made the process seem so effortless and each wonderful vessel was lifted off after the other, ready to be dried and then fired in the kiln and glazed. His work was all around whether it be porcelain or clay (from the St Austell clay pits), glazed or drying, ready for firing, that together with the softness of the light flooding through the huge age old forge windows further enhanced the brilliant colours of each piece. My knowledge of the material and the chemical reactions is limited but it is very clear that the evolution of each piece occurs during the process of glazing and firing which seem to have endless possibilities and the results are unique and stand alone pieces of art as well as being functional. Chris was thrilled to have on display a few vessels through which the techniques he used with the wood kiln have resulted in him reaching a pinnacle in his work. It was a truly magical visit and I hope something that took my eye, takes yours too.