An expensive day at Collect

If you are in London and you haven’t been to Collect yet, you need to get yourself over there this evening or tomorrow; it is wonderful. Clearly the best art fair I’ve ever been to, indeed better than it has been for years.

However, the story is of the acquisition of another beautiful thing. We drifted by the Adrian Sassoon stand and fell in love with a truly marvellous Rupert Spira bowl. It had to be ours. It is a stoneware bowl with an incised poem through black pigment over white glaze and it looks like this:

[image image_id=”2485″]

[image image_id=”2483″]

[image image_id=”2484″]

Isn’t that a beautiful thing?

We own a few pieces by him now, a truly gifted man. Do I prefer this to the Sarah-Jane Selwood pieces? I’d hate to commit myself…

Many thanks for taking the pictures, Dan.

  • Ewan

    I saw this peice at Collect on friday and thought it superb so congrats on purchasing. Did you get to meet Rupert?

  • David Strange

    Hello Ewan,

    Yes, lovely fellow. His 2009 pieces were just wonderful, I loved his new copper glaze dripped onto them. I feel so lucky to own a large(-ish) RS piece.


  • ed tully

    I would say Spira is almost immeasurably better than Selwood. But then I like that kind of thing. In the great canon he is just one rung down from de Waal and the hallowed Lucie. He’s on the same step as Joanna Constadinis.

  • David Strange

    One of the galleries at Collect had some of the best Lucie Rie pieces I have ever seen. They were properly good.

    Much as I have liked some of his pieces, like those bargain-tastic milk jugs, I’d buy Rupert’s stuff in a second before Eddie de Waal’s. Spira is a serious, serious artist who makes truly wonderful stuff.

  • ed tully

    Hmm. It is all a question of taste. De Waal is austere, which I like. Spira is good, but needs ornamentation. The ideal is simplicity.

  • Ewan

    Edmunds work is superb but increasingly hard to come by unfortunately. From what I’m told be prefers his academic and installation work over making one off pieces these days. Rupert is also going in that direction as well it seems. He openly admits to not wanting to make as much so I suspect his work will only become rarer and more sought after as time goes on. For my money Edmund, Rupert and Julian Stair are probably the best three living ceramicists working in the uk today – but then I would say that I own work by all three! 🙂 I have to admit though being somewhat amazed by the Japanese work at Collect – they really put all three in the shade.

    Kind regards,


  • David Strange


    You like simplicity and austerity yet consider Sarah-Jane Selwood lesser? Surely there is little more simple and austere than her work?


    Some of the Japanese stuff was totally pleasing, yet I feel too poorly informed about it to dive in and buy something. I like Rupert’s work a lot. A lot a lot.

    Collect was a totally wonderful place. Best it has ever been.