No, I am not in the path of Hurricane Irene--best wishes to all of those of you who are--but I have witnessed an evacuation before when living in South Carolina. Additionally, Nashville survived our horrible floods last year, so my sympathies are thoroughly engaged. I pray that the loss of life and property damage is minimal.
So today I wanted to share something that has been on my list for months now. Last December when John and I traveled with my parents to visit several museums, the Birmingham Museum of Art was our first stop. I hadn't been there before and didn't know that the museum has one of the largest collections of Wedgwood in the world, the largest in the USA. I have always loved Wedgwood and brought some pieces home with me from my first trip to England several years ago. Mine are the inexpensive, common pieces of jasperware that Wedgwood is most famous for producing. But at the museum I fell in love with the Fairyland Lustre. I am sure I have seen random pieces before, but the museum had a wonderful display of several pieces which captured my heart for several minutes.
Unfortunately, photography doesn't capture the beauty of the pieces. Overall, to most tastes, in pictures they simply appear gaudy or gauche. But in person they glow. The finish shimmers and is amazing. The gold detailing shines. The colors glow. They are vibrant and feel very magical to behold in person.
They are also expensive. So I won't be owning one anytime soon. I will have to be content with my Jasperware. But now when I see a ceramics collection in a museum, I go hunting for the Fairyland Lustre and usually find one lone, representative piece hidden among the rest. Even the one book on the line is out of print and sells for about $400: Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre - The Work of Daisy Makeig-Jones.
Tomorrow I will share more about the line's history. These images are not from the Birmingham Museum of Art, but come primarily from M. S. Rau Antiques and James D. Julia Auctions.