The collection of globes and moons in 'The Best of Both Worlds'
If you can't go into space yourself, meeting an Apollo astronaut is surely a pretty close second. Ceramicist Loraine Rutt certainly thought so when she met Colonel Al Worden in 2016, and when he told her that one of her beautifully detailed porcelain globes recalled to him the magical quality he first glimpsed of our planet from the window of Apollo 15 spacecraft in 1971, she was lost for words. She describes it as still being one of seminal moments in her life.
Miniature 'Land and Sea/Solid Ground #6' with an ebonised English oak pocket case with a parchment celestial interior, £625
It certainly took her ceramics, The Little Globe Company, to whole new audience: Loraine was invited to create a limited edition ceramic globe to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo landings. Last year one of Loraine's globes was selected for the permanent collection at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich; and this autumn Loraine has been invited to exhibit her work at Middle Temple Library in London, home to the earliest and rarest English globes made by Emery Molyneux in 1602.
Natural Oak Travel Box with celestial sky interior in azure, fitted with 'Land and Sea' Globe #8, £750
With so much interest in her work, and so many exciting projects in the offing, I'm delighted to have a collection of work by Loraine back in the gallery this summer. This is the third time Loraine has exhibited with us and her stunning work never fails to delight and intrigue.
Loraine giving a talk and demonstration here at the Byre Gallery in 2018
Maps and clays have been passions of Loraine's since childhood where she was lucky to have access to ceramics from primary school, and at secondary school enjoyed not only had a purpose-built craft room, but also a fully-equipped pottery.
But it was another childhood passion that took her to her first career. After a childhood spent with Ordnance Survey maps accompanying every holiday, it was perhaps not surprising that the allure of maps, geography and discovery took her away from a more artistic career. After school, Rutt took up an apprenticeship as a cartographer at London's Birkbeck College, where she enjoyed the drafting process but knew she was a maker at heart.
Miniature 'Blue Moon #23' with a blue Nappa leather and oak pocket case with a cobalt celestial interior, £550
Evening classes led onto studying for a BA in ceramics at Central St Martins, and her globes evolved out of study, experimentation and development over a period of years. A process which Loraine now has down to a fine - if time consuming - art. She uses moulds to create the structure of the globe but with each piece she is re-working the surface and drawing into it with a fine needle - a process she says has many similarities to the way 19th-century maps were drawn. A steady hand is also vital, as Loraine notes that working at a sale of 1:70million it's easy to wipe out an entire country with the slip of a wrist.
Ceramic map of Rame Head and Plymouth Sound, £750
Loraine's gorgeous work can be seen in the gallery - for photos, videos or any more details, please email us email@example.com or call 01752 822936
'Ocean Currents #52' on an ebonised English oak square plinth, £350