Tag Archives: shapes

There is a recurring motif in our recent cylindrical forms and jug forms: the grille, and with our forthcoming exhibition at Snug Gallery I wanted to share some thoughts on this motif.

Initially, our Cylindrical Forms had two contrasting elements: top and bottom which met at a point usually below the middle of the cylinder; it was tempting to interpret this point as the “horizon” and therefore the top element as sky and the bottom element as land (or sea).

#2. February 2011. SOLD

#2. February 2011. SOLD


Then a third contrasting element arrived – initially in the form of a circle – and the circle seemed like a subject to punctuate and inhabit the landscape. The circle had stability and beautiful purity; the universality of the sun or moon.

james & tilla waters cylindrical forms

#40 Circle Series 1 h: 9.5cm Sold


Now the Cylindrical Forms have become Jug Forms. They are taller and therefore seem to require an elongated motif. The lipped form suggests containing and pouring a liquid. The grille motif is often inclined, de-stabilised with the idea of pouring.

The grille is a development of the label motif, which is the outline of a rectangle with rounded corners. The grille has the same outline but is partially filled-in with evenly spaced, parallel lines, giving it a mechanical, solid but transparent quality. Its role is to interact with the other two (upper and lower) elements.

#109 buoyant grille Jun 15 h. 28cm

#109 buoyant grille Jun 15 h. 28cm


I realise that I have attributed qualities to the three elements which have made them more meaningful to me. I see the upper part as fairly inert and neutral (gas); the lower element as (liquid) random, exciting and dangerous and the grille as (solid) order and control.

Different forms provide a variety of contexts for the grille: sometimes the grille struggles to exist and sometimes it is strong and buoyant. It is the relationships between the elements that animate the forms.

james and tilla waters unglazed teapotThis teapot feels like a fantastic example of our collaboration and a huge accomplishment. (I do feel a bit guilty that James has the hardest job in actually making it and I get to do the fun, easy part.)

It is fairly small at 700 ml and unglazed,  like the “naked” set we made last year for the BCB. It is made from pigmented stoneware and the motif is inlaid. We are hoping to have a small range of unglazed porcelain ware available at Ceramic Art London in April.

james and tilla waters teapotMore of our teapots here.

crocuses 2013Last Autumn we planted 1000 crocuses in our lawn. A rectangle now, we are hoping that as they naturalize and spread, the regular shape will slowly thicken and blur. Earlier this week we were lucky enough for the sun to shine on them to make them open up.

James     8th Mar. 2013


found stencils 2We’ve been collecting useful shapes in packaging to draw round or stencil over on the cylinders. I like the dye cut perfection of curves which isn’t possible to achieve myself with a blade or scissors. The collection contains muffin cases; ferrero rocher cases; a light bulb box; an oven cloth’s packaging.

Tilla    25th Feb. 2013