I have always been drawn to this medieval bottle form with it’s robust form and often over the top sprig decoration. I have had a beard all my adult life and it’s hard not to find some connection to the bearded men depicted on them. When I first learned of them they were referred to as Bellermines, but nowadays the story behind that seems to be a bit of a myth. This rather large one depicted here was made in 2010…my first homage to that beautiful pot. I scratched into the bottom the following: “Friday, March 26th, 2010. Another rainy day. This ‘Bartman'(sic) Bottle was inspired by the conference I attended in Colonial Williamsburg last weekend! (Firing #8)”.
I made a much more contemporary version last autumn for the excellent exhibition “The Last Drop” at the NC Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC. The challenge was to re-interpret an old pot used for alcohol into a 21st century object. While the old pots would have held all kinds of liquids, certainly liquor was an important one. Nowadays we are in the midst of the glory days of good beer making and growlers have become a common sight. It was an obvious choice (once I thought of it…) and the finished pot was a winner, purchased on opening night by the curator!