Become a Friend of the Swindon Museumand Art Gallery

For only £15 a year, you can become a Friend and come along to our talks, join us on trips out to places like The Royal Academy and Pallant House Gallery, there's always something going on. To become a Friend or find out more about us, go to the website www.friendsofsmag.org

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Wine Tasting at Magnum WineShop

Our first event of the year was held last Friday, it was a wine tasting at Magnum WineShop. The evening started with an Emiliana organic sparkling wine from Chile, followed by three white wines of increasing flavour.
Then came a bit of food in between wines which was really welcome; by 8pm  I was starting to feel hungry. Cornish Brie was served with bread after the white wines, then we tasted 3 red wines with Double Gloucester, Ardenne Pate and Taw Valley Cheddar between them, and the Harros 10 year Tawny Port from Portugal which was served with handmade coffee and walnut cake.
Brian Saunders kept up an informative dialogue about each of the wines, the area they came from and anything else he thought we might need to know about them.
It was a very enjoyable evening, here are a couple of photos of those who attended:

 We held a raffle and overall raised a magnificent £459 for the Friends' projects, thank you to all those who attended and helped make the evening such a fantastic success, and to all those at Magnum Wineshop for hosting so magnificently and helped us raise such a marvellous sum.
Here's the tasting menu:



Ceramics Lunchtime talk

Sophie Cummings gave a wonderful lunchtime talk on ceramics on Friday 8 February to  a group of about 22 people. It's lovely to see these talks so well attended because a lot of thought obviously goes into preparing the talks, and they are always very entertaining and informative.
Sophie started by giving us examples of different sorts of ceramics using these pots as illustrations of what she meant:
 She talked about the fact that pots can be made from coils, from putting your thumb into clay and making a pinch pot, there was an example of one of these pots which was so smooth and symmetrical that it was hard to believe it was a pinch pot. Pots can also be made on a wheel. A variety of different clays including earthenware, porcelain and stoneware, these are fired in a kiln after drying, and often glazed to give them colour.
Peter Burgess, the Head of Ceramics at the Swindon School of Art, advised Swindon Museum and Art Gallery on making additions to a fascinating studio ceramics collection which was begun in 1965.
 Here is a photo of Peter Burgess with one of his ceramic pieces.
It ends with ' His primary interest is the relationship of glaze with the form'.
Sophie also reminded us with this old photo of a potter taking things out a kiln that the practice of making ceramics has not changed over the years. Once a piece goes in the kiln, it's a bit of a hit and miss process and the results are not always what one might expect.
There was also a photo of a potter with a large pot. It's possible to see pots like these being made on a wheel at Whichford Pottery a fascinating experience.
Sophie then talked about the ceramics on display in the cabinets and in the gallery. I'll include a couple of photos of the audience:
 And who knew when people were able to put milk in tea after the tea had gone into the cup? It was when porcelain was used to make cups because it could stand a hotter temperature than the stoneware ones.
 And remind you that the next free lunchtime talk is at 12.30pm on Friday 8 March on 'This Woman's Work' exhibition