1. Mermaids - Nymphs of the Sea
Mermaids were not always the flippered glamour girls that we see portrayed today. At the beginning of this century archaeologists in the Middle East unearthed what turned out to be a beautifully crafted 3,000 year old bronze mermaid which had a divided tail.
To primitive peoples worldwide this human fish Deity epitomised the transition of the evolutionary Life force from sea to land.
In Mediterranean lands the fish symbol has had religious significance since pre-Christian times, and the male or female fish combination has been worshipped as a god or goddess of fertility, Creativity and abundance in many lands for thousands of years.
This, of course, allows artists wonderful licence to explore the infinite variety of shapes, textures and colours in their own particular media.
2. Portland Rokko Art - Mermaid Studios 2000 - Guy Sydenham
Rokko Art is inspired by the beautiful effects of erosion by sea, sun and frost and the grinding action by wave-driven pebbles on the rock strata of limestone, sandstone, granite, basalt etc.
Our clay, which is the sediment from this erosion over millions of years, is Used by the artist to extend and develop in a stylised way, the smooth beauty and textures of wet pebbles and, in contrast The craggy rock surfaces of rock strata.
Re-fired in the potter's volcano (the kiln) this clay returns to its natural rock-like composition with volcanic ash textures, metallic oxides and minerals to colour and enhance this natural evolution.
Sharply textured 'rocky' forms and smooth 'eroded rock' sculptures with anthropomorphic mermaid shapes result.
work is decorative and is called "Portland Rokko Art." It is inspired
by the effects of erosion by sea, sun and frost, and the grinding
action by wave-driven pebbles on the rock strata of limestone,
sandstone, granite, basalt etc.
Several clays are used including terracotta, stoneware and mixed clays.
Work generally available from:
Very little of my work is for sale these days and the only permanent exhibition is at my studio on Portland. A public exhibition is running from 11 September - 5 October (2002) This will be at the Well Beloved Galley on Portland and details will are available on our events pages or on their web site
I am only available to give talks to small groups at my studio. These follow a very informal gathering but are nevertheless well worth arranging.
Summer is the best time for such meetings as I have limited space in my studio and my garden comes into it's own on these occasions
Two kilns are in use. One gas and the other electric. Firing at 1200 degrees.
Favourite glazes are tin over copper
1916 - Born Islington London
1921 - Family moved to Devon
1930 - Scholarship to Poole School of Art
1931 - Began apprenticeship at Poole Pottery
1939 - 1945 - War service
1946 - Rejoined Poole Pottery and set up the Craft Section
1949 - Appointed Manager of Making Dept.
1952 - Attended course on industrial ceramics at Poole College.
1953 - 1956 - Lived with wife Joan and son Russel on M.V. Oklahoma in Poole Harbour
1956 - Moved to Long Island.
1960 - Found clay on Long Island. Built wheel and kiln and began saltglazing
1961 - Appointed part-time lecturer at Poole College of Art until 1970
1966 - Senior Designer at Poole Pottery Studio
1968 - Moved to Green Island
1975 - Exhibition at the Russell Cotes Museum art galley.
1977 - Resigned from Poole Pottery. Design consultant to Purbeck Pottery
1977 - Appointed lecturer at Southampton College of Higher Education.
1977 - Registered "Quay Pottery" with son Russel on Green Island.
1980 - Published article "Sea water Drip Saltglaze" in Ceramic Review N0 65
1982 - Member of the Advisory Panel to Southampton College of Higher Education.
1982 - Exhibitions: Lystra Galley, Poole; Dorchester Museum; Grants of Croydon.
1985 - Designed "Guys tread wheel" and "Through draft salt kiln"
1986 - Annual Exhibition at Southampton College of Higher Education
1986 - Romsey Arts and Crafts and the International Saltglaze Exhibition , Koblenz.
1986 - Exhibition and lecture "Seaforms Saltglazed" Letchworth for the Dacorum and Chiltern Potters Guild.
1987 - Formed Green Island pottery "Greensleeves" Featured in Southern TV programme Country Ways.
1988 - Moved to Portland
1991 - Published article in Real Pottery Vol 15 No 57 "Salt Glazing on Green Island"
1992 - Set up Mermaid Studios at Wakeham working in terracotta.
1993 - Preview of exhibition ‘Poole Studio Ware of 1960's at the New Century Galley Kensington Church Street London.
1995 - Lecture to Poole Pottery Collectors Club.
1996 - Exhibition of Joan, Russel, Guy Sydenham and Leslie Collington's ceramics at the Poole Museum's Galley.
1998 - Exhibition ‘The Green Island Potters' at the Atrium Galley, University of Bournmouth.: Guy Sydenham, Terry Davies and Matt Hew Davies.
1999 - Publication of A Potters Life: The Island Potters of Poole.
2002 - Started the production of a second book to be entitled A Potters Life: Portland Rokko Art 2000.