Elizabeth Fritsch

Firstly a musician it wasn’t until Fritsch was in her late twenties she took up Ceramics under the direction of Eduardo Paolozi and Hans Coper at the RCA.
Her hand built pots are clearly influenced by her musical background, with 2d optical illusions scattered on the surface like notes on music paper.

In 2010, at the National Museum Cardiff, Wales, a big retrospective was held featuring a complete range of her most poignant studio pottery and newer pieces. She referred to them as ‘the space between the second and third dimensions’, a concept she first described as ‘two-and-a-half dimensions’.
I completely get this statement, it perfectly describes her work; having seen it myself at the National Museum Cardiff, whilst doing research for a ceramics project. On first inspection you can see a pot decorated with a striking painterly pattern. And then, you are submerged into this delightful, delicate optical illusion. The pot isn’t as 3D as you originally thought, it is actually slightly squished, half-way between 2D and 3D. almost like a 2-point perspective drawing: it has the appearance of being 3D, but it’s not.
Now in her mid-seventies; she hasn’t exhibited much work over the recent years, but my admiration of her work continues to grow, especially when it relates so well to my current degree-show project.

Some Inspiration for my current work

First and foremost, I want to share a blog post I did a couple of years ago about the Panna Meena step well, as stepwells are a major source of inspiration for this project.

img_0044The roof of Westfield shopping centre in London. I am an admirer of the triangular framed Windows, and the layout of them and how they dissipate into blank space. It’s something I’m keen on doing with my tile collection.img_0748

Detail of  brickwork at a London tube station. Inspiration never stops, I find it in the most unlikely places. I appreciate the thought that goes into everyday design. I think especially in the Victorian era and up until the end of King Edwards reign, there was a high attention to detail in even the most seemingly mundane locations. Good design for me is an object or architecture that is pleasing to the eye, this contains some sort of repetition for me, such as a brickwork/tile pattern, as seen at the top of this picture. img_2937
Saying that, a pattern, to be aesthetically pleasing, it doesn’t have to be symmetrical. There can be a number of compositions to create something larger, like this picture shows. I cannot locate the designer of these, which is incredibly frustrating so I’m going to have to go back to the v and a to see for myself! They are very Mondrian-esque. I wouldn’t be surprised if he collaborated with a ceramicist to make these.

During a visit to the V and A, I explored the Middle Eastern art collection. Because of their favoured use of geometries in interior design, it felt natural to explore. I found fourteenth century tiles from Buyanquli Khan’s tomb. The tiles have been restored to their original beauty, showing of the gorgeous, rich turquoise colour. And also, the most beautiful carved calligraphy shows the high level of craftsmanship used to create these. A professional finish is something I want to attain in th efinal outcome of my tile collection.
img_1553I took this photograph on my trip to India back in 2014. We were in Udaipur, right in the countryside, the city was hours way. Between the hills and winding roads was this beautiful brick kiln. I think it’s a work of art in itself. There’s also a theme going on of my sources of research: repetition of smaller shapes to create a greater shape/ composition.