Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Franki goes to...Australia....

Meet Frankie, but you had better make it snappy, because he is heading down under to the land of OZ , where any day now he will grace a very smart black and white kitchen in Queensland. Franki is the first cockeral I have painted in a long time and I am rather pleased with him.

When I first started selling my work , well over 10 years ago, I did a lot of chickens, entire dinner services with flocks of feathery egg layers stomping about the plate rims, vast salad bowls with beady eyed light Sussex hens glaring up from under the oranges, jugs of all shapes and sizes with poultry of every hue cavorting about them. All gone now and not one remaining on my dresser, which is really sad as I love chickens , daft creature that I am!

We have kept chickens for years and used to have rather an exotic flock, courtesy of a friend who was breeder and a judge of fowl and feathers. I did the Country Show circuit selling my ceramics and after many a long weekend I'd become aware, as I was packing up my stall ,of the faint sound of scuttling and the gentle cooing noise hens make at bed time then there he would be coyly loitering by the tent flap with a trio to add to my collection. Our hen house was like a rural retirement home for rare breeds, model birds who didn't make it to the top.

Now alas we are down to one rather bolshy French hen. She lays like a trooper, although I am not sure troopers lay eggs, and spends her days wandering alone about the garden and the maize fields talking to herself like the last relic of a long dynasty, terribly well bred but definitely dotty. I keep trying to get her to make some new friends but each time I go out next morning and find her happily alone again. I think she and the fox have an agreement when fresh supplies come in she invites him over for supper.

And of course , to go with the tiles I had to do one of these, a plate to match Franki because a girl has to have something on which to put her egg sandwiches at teatime doesn't she ?

There is something about the way hens hold themselves, the gleam in their eye that continues to tempt me to try and capture it in glaze. Well if nothing else it makes a refreshing change from Doves!!


Franki was drawn on a panel of 9 bisque fired majolica glazed 4"tiles with glaze chalks and underglazes then fired to a high temperature , and was a special commission , cost roughly 50 pounds sterling . Similar designs can be made to order at the same price.


Wizzard said...

Franki is lovely. I would buy one for my brother and sister in law's 1st wedding anniversary, but then I remember she has a "thing" about birds! Long story, but hens are definately a NO NO.


Milla said...

he's rather gorgeous, Un Peu, and the way the light bounces off his tum gives a great rotundity.

Elizabethd said...

Beautiful bird.

ChrisH said...

Very handsome indeed. Love the thought of all those egg-laying troopers!

Frances said...

Un Peu, Franki is yet another winner from your very talented hands!

I also love the image of your hen being in cahoots with the fox.


Crystal Jigsaw said...

Franki is stunning. I love chickens too, we currently have 30 pecking about the farm giving us the most beautiful eggs.

Fascinating birds aren't they.
CJ xx

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Very taken with Franki . . . well done Un Peu you are right to be pleased with him.

Hope your lone chicken survives . . . and no I don't think Troopers lay eggs - maybe Blossom will know.