Bethan Laura Wood and 1882 present their first collaboration celebrating the gathering together of people to share food and conversation .

Invited to make a collection for 1882 Bethan wanted to draw on the ceramic history of Trompe-l’œil decoration of food vessels. Highly popularized by the 18th century in response to the increasing exchange of foods across the globe and the aspiration for ‘enlightenment’ through scientific exploration and cataloguing of nature. This combined with a trend for theatrical dinning merged into a wonderus obsession with creating hyperrealistic ceramic replicas of fruits, vegetable even whole animals to house inside often contrasting food took hold .

Bethan mixes this with the abstraction and optimism of the 1960’s party foods and main staple of pineapple and cheese perforated melon or the more fancy sounding caleidoscopio di stuzzichini in Italian, where wooden sticks with bite sized edible cubes explode out abstracting and modernizing this food presentation to fit the new trend in enlightenment fantasy of outer space brought on by the space race.

Bethan’s collection of Disco Gourds vessels stylized and flatten these perforations to make a second layer of pattern and decoration. Using a technique called slip lining, where each pattern line is drawn and colour filled by the skillful hand of the craftswoman, giving a stain glass line quality. This allows Bethan to bring in her last reference for the completion of her fantasy gourds, a small nod to the medieval stain glass windows from he home town which she goes and visits every time she returns to stoke to work on the project.

Images by George Baggaley.