An albarello was originally a type of majolica earthenware jar designed to hold apothecaries’ ointments and dry drugs. Developed in the Middle East it was brought to Europe by traders in the 15th century. Such jars served both functional and decorative purposes in traditional apothecaries and pharmacies and represented status and wealth.
My interest in this jar arose from a trip through Europe in 2007 and seeing an albarello in a museum in Istanbul. Back home I was after a form that would suit my style of throwing and also benefit from wood firings. The balance and proportions of the shape, the qualities of line and the impact of the firing process all allow so many possibilities.
One of my favourite areas of each piece is when I apply the lugs or handles. The piece transforms and gains character as the eye is drawn to this area of detail. These Albarelli tell a story, a narrative that illustrates the way I handle clay and fire. These forms have become more personal the more I make them and consequently able to tell more stories, a development that excites me and offers huge potential.