Picasso Terracotta tile for £400

Owning a work by Pablo Picasso would seem beyond the dreams of all but the world’s wealthiest collectors.

But a forthcoming auction will allow fans of the artist to pick up a Picasso for as little as £400 – albeit for a terracotta tile measuring 5×5 inches.

The tile is among 170 lots in a sale of Picasso ceramics that also includes plates, vases, jugs and bowls designed by the great 20th century artist.

The sale will take place at Sotheby’s in London on Wednesday, and offers an “exceptional” selection of the artist’s clay work.

Eighteen of the lots can be had for £800 or less if they achieve their low estimates, although chances are they will fetch rather more. The highest estimate of £60,000-£80,000 is attached to a vase decorated with bullfighting scenes. The prices are a far cry from the £70 million commanded by Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves and Bust in 2010, making it the most expensive painting ever sold at auction.

The works are made affordable by the fact they were produced in runs of up to 500; and while the artist painted the designs, he left the actual pottery-making to others.

All of the pieces were created during the last decades of the artist’s life, in collaboration with the Madoura pottery on the French Riviera.

Animals, birds, nymphs and mythological characters are featured in the designs, including the minotaur, a recurring motif in Picasso’s work.

The Spanish artist first visited the pottery in Vallauris in 1946, where he struck up a friendship with the owners, Georges and Suzanne Ramié.

The appeal of the artisan lifestyle and the opportunity to work in a new medium prompted Picasso to ask the couple if he could work with them, and in 1947 he began creating his own pieces there.

A corner of the workshop was duly set aside for him, and he was treated like any other employee – although his fellow workers did not have Brigitte Bardot, Gary Cooper or Richard Attenborough drop by for a chat.

Customers who approached the elderly employee looking for sales advice were astonished to find themselves face to face with the celebrity artist.

In all, Picasso spent 24 years at Madoura, producing 633 designs in limited editions ranging from 25 to 500. He died in 1973.

It was also the place where he met the final love of his life. Jacqueline Roque was a cousin of Suzanne Ramié and employed there as a sales assistant.

Despite the age difference – she was 27, he was 72 – they began a romance, and she became his muse and second wife.

Sotheby’s said: “Beginning with his first trip to Vallauris in the summer of 1946, Pablo Picasso remained enchanted by the freedom and expressive nature of the ceramic medium throughout the last 25 years of his life.

“Working with the Ramié family during these years, Picasso found great satisfaction working with clay – the alchemy of working with slips and glazes, the effects of texture and colour, and the daily life of the artisan attracted him greatly.

“In these works we truly see Picasso’s freedom of thought and creative powers, and the sense of playfulness for which he was so renowned.”

In 2012, the son of Georges and Suzanne Ramié sold 543 items which had remained at the Madoura pottery since the artist’s death, including pottery, prints and photography. It fetched £8 million, over four times its pre-sale estimate.

Daily Telegraph 5/5/2014


Miniature Brick Kits

Tims a brick By Emily Pearce – Friday, April 29, 2011 TIM Bristow is a man with a passion for bricks. One of the founders of the York Handmade Brick Company and owner of Bembridge shop Clay Clay, which sells brick and terracotta items ranging from flower pots to kitchenware, Tim has now launched his own range of miniature clay brick building kits.Believed to be the only such kits manufactured in the UK, designs include a small Georgian house, a castle and a replica of the Albert Barracks – a miniature fort built at Osborne House by Queen Victoria’s children. “Up to the early 1960s one of the most popular toys were building assembly kits, using little bricks, mortar and a bit of patience but the introduction of plastic bricks saw their popularity diminish,” said Tim, 51, of Nettlestone.”The Clay Clay kits are all made here in the shop and the reaction so far has been very positive,” he added.”I think parents are sick of their children playing on the computer instead of doing something creative and thats part of their appeal.” Every kit has been lovingly put together by Tim, and includes miniature bricks sourced from reclaimed IW bricks and terracotta made by the York Handmade Brick Company, mortar, plans and laminated windows and doors. They range from 50 bricks, for the more simple designs, to 350 bricks for those looking for more of a challenge. The Island is well known for bricks and pottery making and there were more than 80 brickworks on the IW until the 1970s. “I was inspired to make the kits because I spotted a gap in the market but also because I have an absolute passion for bricks,” said Tim. “The history of brick making on the Island is very rich and I can’t believe no-one does it any more.” Tim’s kits will be on display at this years Grand Designs Show, in London, from April 30 to May 8. Reporter: emilyp@iwcpmail.co.uk Isle of Wight County Press 29/4/2011

Climategate Two more bricks fall out of the IPCC wall of deceit

Daily Telegraph By Gerald Warner Politics Last updated: March 16th, 2010

Oops! There go another two bricks, tumbling out of the IPCC wall of deceit on man-made global warming – there is not a lot left now; even the Berlin Wall (to which the AGW construct is ideologically allied) has survived better. Unhappily for Al, Phil, Michael, George and the rest of the scare-mongers, these two discredited components are among the most totemic in the AGW religion.

Firstly, a new study, funded by Nasa (which may be feeling the need to rehabilitate itself post-Climategate) has revealed that the ridiculous claim in the notorious IPCC 2007 report that up to 40 per cent of the Amazon rainforest could be drastically affected by even a small reduction in rainfall caused by climate change, so that the trees would be replaced by tropical grassland, is utter nonsense. That assertion has already been exposed as derived from a single report by the environmentalist lobby group WWF.

Now Dr Jose Marengo, a climate scientist with the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research and himself a member of the IPCC, says: “The way the WWF report calculated this 40 per cent was totally wrong, while (the new) calculations are by far more reliable and correct.” These calculations were done by researchers at Boston University and were published in the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters. They used satellite data to study the drought of 2005, when rainfall fell to the lowest in living memory, and found that the rainforest suffered no significant effects.

So, the rainforest scare, like the Himalayan glaciers panic, is garbage. A further encouraging feature of this development is that genuine scientists are increasingly becoming emboldened to challenge the IPCC’s junk science: the Academy is beginning to reassert its integrity. AGW without withered rainforests is Hamlet without the prince. It was one of those emotive claims much invoked by priggish children in the voice-overs of nanny-state “green” commercials, lecturing their elders on the stewardship of the planet.

An even bigger tear-jerker was the plight of polar bears, bolstered by carefully cropped photographs of lonely bears stranded on fast-melting icebergs, doomed to extinction. That is the second brick that has fallen out of the IPCC wall. The official legend is that polar bears are threatened with extinction by global warming. The IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group, which has bought into global warming in a big way, has claimed that, of the 19 sub-populations of polar bears (13 of them in Canada, home to 60 per cent of polar bears), eight are declining, three are stable, one is increasing and there is insufficient data on the remaining seven.

Of the eight allegedly declining populations, two of them, including Baffin Bay, are non-contentious: sceptics concede that the two sub-populations, representing 16.4 per cent of the bear population, are declining – but in both regions the temperatures have actually fallen, so warming is an irrelevant issue. H Sterling Burnett, senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, has pointed out that in two regions where the population is growing – the Bering Strait and the Chukchi Sea – air temperatures have risen. So polar bears appear to thrive on warming – as scientists claim they did during the Mediaeval Warm Period 1,000 years ago and the Holocene Climate Optimum 5,000-9,000 years ago.

Warmists contest the Chukchi Sea claim, insisting the population there is declining, though they concede illegal hunting by Russians is a factor. Closer reading of their literature, however, reveals some interesting semantics. For example, the Southern Beaufort Sea is listed as an area of decline, on the basis of a fall in cub survival rates and a reduction in the weight and skull size of adult males, which was also observed elsewhere, prior to population decline. So this is a prediction rather than an accomplished fact – just like global warming itself.

The bottom line is the actual statistics, conceded even by warmists: since 1970 the world’s polar bear population has “declined” from 5,000 to 25,000. Some of us would term that a quintupling, but obviously we do not share the same mathematical skills as those who predicted the imminent loss of the Himalayan glaciers. The IPCC and the whole scam it promotes is now irreversibly on the slide. If you have no devastated rainforests and those pesky polar bears keep on doing what polar bears do on cold Arctic nights, you have lost the schoolchildren – and they were almost the last supporters of man-made global warming.