Morgen Hall – In Memory
Born 1960 – Died 17th February 2016
Morgen Hall hand made decorative tableware which is intended for everyday use. An Award winning potter who exhibited widely and taught for many years at Cardiff Open Art School.
It is with great sadness that we have heard of the death of one of our favourite makers whose making skills and design creativity were amongst the best. She had an entirely original style that could never be mistaken for any other maker and we are certain that those fortunate owners of her work will treasure those pieces even more with her passing.
We met Morgen a few times, once at an event which was a day of demonstration of her her throwing techniques. This was with the Southern Ceramic Group. I remember that Morgen had travelled by train and was not able to bring any pieces of work with her. What she did bring was a warm heart and a large cake to share.
We visited Morgen at her studio in Cardiff while we were holidaying in nearby Tenby. We are very proud to own a few pieces of Morgens work. While there we purchased a few items, A Jelly bean jar with scoop and a Jug.
Morgen’s work has fine detail and finish on strong, bold forms. A high firing, smooth red earthenware is used, both for its rich cinnamon colouring and for its durability in use. She always wanted her pieces, however fine, to be used and indeed, they will enhance any afternoon tea,
She will be missed by all lovers of beautiful studio ceramics. Thankfully we have the gift of her wonderful creations to sustain the memory of this truly original maker. Morgen was a Fellow of The Craft Potters’ Association
Text from Morgen Hall’s Website
Morgen Hall 3 Year Research Post in Ceramic Practice , Centre for Ceramic Studies, School of Art & Design , University of Wales Institute, Cardiff March ,1998 to March 2001 (Report date: November 2000)
For the last 15 years I have relied on the following technology: a kick wheel, kiln, pair of scissors and a roulette wheel when making tableware as a self employed potter. The work is thrown, but with the emphasis on turning and fine rouletted detail with slip pattern work.
Throwing and Turning
I use a wheel as a versatile means of producing forms, where each individual piece has the potential to be developed in response to the previous piece made.
A roulette is a small wheel with an engraved or embossed outer rim, usually attached to a handle, which can be rolled over leather hard clay to impress a pattern. A roulette looks much like a ravioli cutter, but with different patterns on the outer edge of the wheel. The influence of 18th Century British tableware’s gives an important example of how turning and rouletting a thrown piece can highlight form and enable clear space for surface patterning.
After being dissatisfied with my own home made roulette wheels, (made from plaster, bisque fired clay and wood), I found that book binders use exquisitely made brass tools, which they call – decorative farthing wheels”. I bought one from a manufacturer’s existing catalogue of roulette patterns and commissioned one to be made specially. When turning the base of a pot I leave a raised bevelled edge for the rouletted pattern to go on. The raised bevel makes for a more 3D pattern than if the rouletted pattern were pressed into the flat surface.
I use scissors to create crisp edged paper resist pattern work. Newspaper shapes are cut and applied wet to the leather hard pot prior to being sponged over with slip.
In March 1998 I took up a three year research post at the Centre for Ceramic Studies at the Cardiff School of Art & Design, where I had previously attended the MA Ceramics course in 1983/84.For this research study I have chosen to look for an industrial technology for tableware production that has the potential for hand made interventions, thereby allowing an exploration of the crossover between the industrial and the hand made.
I have been interested in finding ways other than throwing or hand building to make tableware. The main criteria I chose for directing this search included the ability to explore non circular form and to investigate more immediate ways of applying colour and pattern to the tableware. I also hoped to enable the production of these pieces in less time than my current very slow throwing, turning and decoration. This new range of tableware’s could then be mixed with the hand thrown pieces, which I will continue to make, thereby expanding the range of forms, surface treatments and selling prices.
- 1983 – 1984 University of Wales Institute Cardiff – MA (ceramics)
- 1979 – 1983 Grays School of Art, Aberdeen,Scotland – Dip AD (ceramics & jewellry)
- 1978 – 1979 Assistant at Portsoy Pottery, Scotland
- Summer 1980/81 Assistant Crathes Pottery, Scotland
- Summer 1983 Assistant Appin Pottery, Scotland
- Index of Selected Makers, Crafts Council of Britain
- Craft Potters Association (fellow) South Wales Potters
- 1998 – 2001 Senior Research Fellow for Ceramic Practice,
- University of Wales Institute Cardiff
- 1989 – 1998 Part time, Ceramics Dept., Bath Spa Univ. Faculty of Art & Design
- 1988 – 1989 Part time, 3D course, Carmarthen Arts College
|Work held in public collections include:|
|1996||Tea cabaret set, Victoria and Albert Museum, London|
|1996||Soup tureen with ladle, Aberdeen Art Gallery, Aberdeen|
|1995||Teapot, Castle Museum, Norwich|
|1995||Marshmallow jar with toasting fork, National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh|
|1995||Turkish delight jar with fork, Newport Museum and Art Gallery|
|1995||Tea cabaret set, National Museum of Wales, Cardiff|
|1994||Porcelain jar and tablewares, Museum of Applied Arts, Prague|
|1994||Porcelain vase and tablewares, Castel Loket Museum, Loket, Czech Republic|
|1993||Tea cabaret set, Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead|
|1989||Tea wares, Hanley Museum, Stoke-On-Trent|
|1989||Tea wares, Paisley Museum, Paisley|
|1988||Tablewares, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth|
|1987||Tea wares, Newport Museum and Arts Gallery, Newport|