AB: Well, this is such a startling contrast with the Leach cup and saucer because it's so fine and so delicate, so beautifully made, and from a quite different visual language. It's a kind of refined European modernist object already, and very thinly potted, very skillfully turned. Knowing as I do that it comes from a whole set, the cup and saucer is beautifully open and horizontal and low, which I'm sure you won't be able to see on camera.
One cup and saucer. So the jugs are higher than the cup and saucer. So it suggests thin, refined Lapsang Suchong, I think, that you have to cool it quickly. Well, I just find this much more exciting. I suppose the European link, that's a surprise too. That's clearly not what she meant, sitting next to something else in the kiln. [video clip starts] There's an interesting play of proportions in all of these things, the tiny little lip, the jug that's very much like a cup, the smallness of the spout. There's a sort ofurban feeling it has, and having had tea with her myself a few times it was a very good ritual, always [with] cakes, and it was always a concentrated moment.
MP: What was she like?
AB: Absolutely direct and charming with a very nice, dry, ironic way of talking sometimes. [video clip ends] I went with a friend once who was very curious about the architecture in the flat and was asking about the window fittings or something, and he went to look and when he came back she said, 'So now you know everything.' And she was full of charm but quite steely, quite sort of strong. At the time I think she was talking to Issey Miyake about showing work in Tokyo, which he organised. And I'd heard that he'd given her lots of clothes. One of his things was that the clothes weren't just for young trendy people, that he was going to dress all kinds of people. And I said, 'What were they like?' And she said, 'Well they're okay, but I can't wear them.' Which seemed like a tragic waste. No she was a very powerful personality and it means a lot to me to have encountered her. And I think you know from my pattern and my own sort of urban links it's just much more of a root for me, although I'm not making work anything like this. I feel a connecting link to this work in a way I don't with the Leach.
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