Name Mary Dearden
Date of Birth 29/04/54
Address 1 Christina Terrace, Merchants Road, Hotwells, Bristol, BS8 4QB
Contact Tel: 0117 9272104

Drawing of V&A's press-moulded agate ware cat, c.1725

Three Reliquaries for Christopher Smart's Cat Jeoffrey
'I particularly liked the pair of salt-glazed agate-ware cats, whose antecedents lie in the slipware tradition of image toys. I was interested to experiment with the technique of combining different coloured clays in striped and marbled patterns to suggest animal markings. Working on the idea of making pet reliquaries, I have developed pieces which combine throwing with press-moulding. The sprigged motifs of cars refer to contemporary perils in the human and feline world. The titles are lines from a favourite poem, 'My Cat Jeoffrey' written by Christopher Smart (1722-71). Jeoffrey inspired his master to rejoice in his attributes when they were living in a private asylum for the insane in Bethnal Green.

Drawing of deathbed figure of Lydia Dwight, made by John Dwight, 1673

Bowl for G.B.D.

Research into the history of salt-glaze drew my attention to a piece which belongs to the V&A, but was currently on display elsewhere on the day of the handling session . This is the deathbed figure of Lydia Dwight ('dyed March 3, 1673), a memorial to the potter John Dwight's young daughter. The poignancy of this piece were an inspiration to creating a memorial to my father, who died on the bowling green at Pateley Bridge on July 27, 1993.'