Anybody who has purchased one of Phyllis Erwin’s modern ceramic vases from Creative Collection over the past year should be keeping it in a safe place. The value of her work has been increasing lately not the least because it has been recognized by an eminent expert and professional collector.
One of Phyllis’s pieces has been purchased by Christiaan Jorg who is the Curator of Decorative Art in the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands. Christiaan sent Phyllis a wonderful letter and has allowed us to publish it in its entirety:
(p.s. Creative Collection still has 7 of Ms. Erwin’s pieces. These are the last – unfortunately Phyllis has retired from pottery-making).
A Bowl with an Autumn Storm
By Christiaan Jorg
February 1, 2018
As keeper of Decorative Art in the Groninger Museum I was - and I still am - a professional collector. That means my approach is different from that of the private collector, who decides more emotional on acquisitions and acts according to his/her own fascinations. But sometimes an object smashes my intellectual distance and then it's love at first sight !
In Cobourg, Canada, I met potter Phyllis Erwin at home. Some time ago she had made a large bowl that immediately caught my attention and I was lucky I got the opportunity to buy it from her.
It has a compressed global shape and the rim is bending inside, like an Asian monk's beggar bowl. It is covered with a blue-greyish engobe and smoke-fired. This technique caused a variety of irregular dark spots and swipes, discoloring and a most beautiful skin. The outside announces already the raging storm inside, forces of nature that are barely contained within the thin walls of the hand-built bowl. With some imagination one hears the roaring wind!
The unusual bluish tinge adds to the impression of a threatening sky with its whirling columns of air and fragments of clouds that are blown away, an energy that could easily get loose and rage in the room where the bowl is kept. All this energy - which also can be considered a spiritual force - is controlled and kept inside the bowl, which is made out of the four classical elements: earth, water, air and fire. The forces of nature compressed in one object. A bowl, so strong, so challenging, so universal. What a great piece of art !
The Groninger Museum is an art museum in the city of Groningen in the Netherlands. The museum exhibits modern and contemporary art of local, national, and international artists.
The museum opened in 1874. The current post-modernist building consists of three main pavilions designed individually by architects Philippe Starck, Alessandro Mendini, Coop Himmelb(l)au, and was completed in 1994.
Since 2008, it has had 173,000 to 292,000 visitors per year, the highest amount of any museum in the province of Groningen.0