Company of Beard Pullers

Fitch & McAndrew
£960
The Fraternal Company of Ruminating Beard Pullers by Fitch & McAndrew are part of The New Craftsmen’s ‘Claylarks’ collection. The group of three jugs reflect a meeting of pompous men, each ruminating upon their own importance in each other's company and not one of them listening to the other. For these pieces, the duo were inspired by the face jugs at both the Museum of London and the FitzWilliam Museum in Cambridge. Jugs of this type were made all over Britain, especially in Surrey, and sold locally and internationally throughout the Medieval period. Their motivation ultimately came from a sherd of the face section of a Medieval jug that Doug received as a gift. The duo also looks to the infamous work of Medieval English Pottery by Bernard Rackham, with bearded face jugs shown to be pulling their beards. It is unknown whether these faces are deep in thought or perhaps the beard was considered a mark of virility and status. Traditional pots are often anthropomorphic and, throughout the years, many cultures have celebrated this observation with the addition of human features.


Material: Red earthenware, slips, glaze
Dimensions:
cm: Width 16.5cm, Depth 13cm, Height 15.5cm
inches: Width 6.5in, Depth 5.1in, Height 6.1in
Care Instructions: Hand wash with warm soapy water

Process

Created using traditional slipware techniques and materials, these jug were thrown on the wheel in red earthenware clay. After attaching the handles, Douglas applies a layer of slip and once dry to the touch, he carefully applies thin coils of clay to add the decoration. A contrasting slip is trailed within the applied segments and finally the piece is finished with a yellow glaze. Both potters embrace the challenges created by working with historic materials, and find the process all the more fascinating because of this decision.
The Maker Fitch & McAndrew Ceramicist - Scotland

Douglas Fitch & Hannah McAndrew are slipware potters based in Scotland. Drawing great inspiration on the heritage of British slipware, their pieces showcase traditional techniques applied in a contemporary way. Using a blend of earthenware clay sourced from Douglas’ birthplace, Devon, Fitch & McAndrew often work with warm palettes of chocolate brown and honey, inspired by their local landscape. All their dishes, pots and jugs are one-off pieces, richly detailed as well as functional.