Wednesbury Museum Art Gallery

Wednesbury Museum Art Gallery

Wednesbury Museum Art Gallery

The Wednesbury Museum Art Gallery isn’t far from here and I’m glad that I’ve finally been to visit it.  It’s one of the Sandwell & Dudley museums (so it’s free to visit!).  I had a very pleasant hour meandering among the displays – and picking up lots of quilt inspiration.

Ruskin pottery

Ruskin pottery

Ruskin Pottery

I’m ashamed to say that I hadn’t heard of Ruskin Pottery but the display of their pottery was magnificent.  They were famed for the different glazes that they used on their vases and pots.  I would love to pretend to be knowledgeable and tell you which glaze this vase has, but after I had read the label it went straight out of my head.

An array of pottery

An array of pottery

The different glazes that they pioneered included souffle, described by the company as being suggestive of the rich hues seen in rock pools at low tide.  Then there was lustre glaze, giving a pearly sheen, and flambe glaze which gave rich vibrant colours.

Many different products

Many different products

They kept their recipes for the glazes secret and they have never been revealed.  They often involved multiple firings at controlled temperatures.  It was really interesting reading about these gorgeous products.

As you can see from the photo, the company produced many pottery items, not just vases and pots.  The company began in 1898 and was renamed Ruskin in 1902 as a tribute to the writings of John Ruskin.

Chance Glass

Chance Glass

Chance Glass

The next display was of Chance Glass products.  The etched design has been re produced in many quilts – I can’t remember if they are called dahlia or chrysanthemum quilts.  It is definitely on my list of quilts to make.

Chance Glass was renowned for its specialised glass.  At one time their workshops covered 30 acres in Smethwick.  They produced the glass to build the Crystal Palace for the Great Exhibition, as well as the clock faces for Big Ben during one of its previous facelifts.

They provided much of the specialised glass needed for lighthouses around the world.  Apparently they made the glass for a lighthouse in Tasmania (over 300 pieces) and shipped it there without any instructions.  That must have been quite a jigsaw!

Gorgeous colours

Gorgeous colours

Of course, it was the smaller glass items that interested me.  These two items were particularly beautiful.  I wonder if you could adapt the plate to a fussy cut dresden plate design for a quilt.

Community area

Community area

Community area

There was a fascinating community area in the Wednesbury Musetum Art Gallery.  Amongst the artwork was this house which combined painting with stuffed felt shapes to give depth to some of the aspects like roofs and trees.  That could also be adapted to a quilt design.

Racing horses

Racing horses

Then there was this marvellous picture of racing horses.  The streaks behind the horses gave a wonderful feeling of speed – I must try that one day using quilting to give that feeling of motion.

Stained glass technique

Stained glass technique

And finally one more picture that intrigued me.  This is a picture, not a window, but it could be made using black sashing as in stained glass quilts and some free flowing fabric creating the dress.

I hope you’ve enjoyed your trip around the Wendesbury Museum Art Gallery with me – I certainly loved it.