Object of the month: Stoneware Vase by Elizabeth Fritsch

Hampshire Cultural Trust has received funding from National Lottery Heritage Fund to help reimagine the Allen Gallery and its nationally significant ceramic collection. As a part of this project, we are researching and discovering the collections’ untold stories.

This month's article focuses on stoneware vase by Elizabeth Fritsch.

Elizabeth Fritsch (b.1940) is a British studio ceramicist born in Whitchurch in Shropshire. After studying harp and piano at Birmingham School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music respectively, Fritsch studied ceramics, being taught by modern masters such as Hans Coper and Eduardo Paolozzi. Despite her teachings, her style is very much her own and deviates from the earlier studio ceramics which valued function over form. Instead, Fritsch values the use of colour and shape to showcase the musicality of ceramics. Many of her pieces come in pairs or groups to create a balance between shapes and colours for the eye, much in the same way that music layers sound to create something greater than the sum of its parts.

DA1978.79- stoneware vase, slip decorated in blue, white and black, made by Elizabeth Fritsch, Digswell, Hertfordshire, about 1977

The piece we have on display by Fritsch is called 'Two Part Counterpoint', bought from an exhibition in 1978 which took inspiration from both her studies of music and ceramics. The vivid royal blue, black and white combined with the clarity of the hand-painted lines highlight the elegant shape of the vase and create a rhythm for the eyes to follow. The title of the piece implies a second work but any information of this piece is unfortunately an unknown; it was likely purchased at the same exhibition, 'Pots in Music' in Leeds.

Fritsch has gone on to become a celebrated modern ceramicist and has pieces in museum collections across the UK and around the world. Her eye for precision and attention to detail in tandem with her ability to draw from the other art forms which inspire her is something much to be admired.

For more information about our Rediscovering the Allen Gallery project, click here.

Rediscovering the Allen Gallery | Hampshire Cultural Trust
Alton’s Allen Gallery is an intimate setting for one of the nation’s most outstanding collections of ceramics. Supported by initial funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, we are thrilled to be embarking on the first phase of an exciting project to rediscover the Allen Gallery for the commu…

This article was written by:
Author image

Ben Murrey

Collections Assistant/Collections Programme Coordinator who looks after objects and makes them accessible to the public.
You've successfully subscribed to Culture on Call
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to Culture on Call
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.