Catherine Daniel Ceramics

Hello and welcome to my blog where I share some of the thought processes and textile/quilting inspirations behind my ceramic art, and occasionally other random topics!
For more details and pictures of my ceramic creations, please see my website -

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Fables and Legends

I love pottery and I love poetry so it was probably inevitable that one day I would combine the two. I am so old that I come from a time where your schooldays were spent learning great chunks of verse by heart. So now, when I can no longer remember what I went into the next room for, I can still recite poems I learned as a ten year old!

They fought the dogs, and kill'd the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles,'

That was my favourite line as a kid - in the tradition of the best fairy tales, the imagery in Browning's 'Pied Piper' is wonderfully graphic and gruesome.

'Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men's Sunday hats,'

And of course, every good fable has to have a moral to it and this is no exception; See what can happen to people who do not keep their promises!

I may be the only potter to decorate their pots with images of rats - but what fun I had doing these.

And so I moved on to an Arthurian Legend next.

The Lady of the Lake.

It's not an accurate depiction, and I have learnt a lesson here about doing better research next time, but I'm pleased with it nonetheless.

The patchwork pieces are still on-going, but I'm hoping these new pieces will find favour somewhere, as I need to 'mix it up a bit' in order to keep things fresh and challenging.

What are your favourite childhood stories? Maybe I'll put them on a pot!

Hope you like!

x Cathy x


  1. How The Elephant Got His Trunk was always a favourite. I loved all the descriptions of the Crocodile!

  2. They are fantastic, the lady of the lake reminds me of my favourite poem- the lady of shallot.

  3. Love them! Favourite fables and legends: The Emperors New Clothes, Alfred burning the tarts, St. George and the dragon ... I could never get enough stories as a kid!

  4. I love your shapes and colours and learning what goes on behind the pieces - I've had an uphill struggle to get people to 'hear' me ...... I don't just quilt, weave, crochet, I'm trying to express me too. One day I shall be able to purchase something from you, I hope! Best wishes.

  5. Love the rats!

    "the great grey green greasy Limpopo river all set about with fever trees"
    Certain phrases just get stuck in your head for ever.

  6. Oh my, Cathy, what a brilliant idea (and perfect execution, of course)! Loooove them!

  7. Wow, when I first spied the first picture I thought it was a tapestry such brilliant detail, lovely!!

  8. Ha, my daughter is learning about the Pied Piper of Hamlyn at school at the moment. I must show her this.

  9. Hello Cathy,
    First of all - thank you for visiting and for your lovely comment - not least because it brought me here. I don't think I have ever been physically moved by pottery before, but that is exactly what happened when I saw your banner, and then when I scrolled down ... well! I love your work!
    I recognised the excerpts from the Pied Piper - I studied it for 'O' level, and your interpretation on the plate is gorgeous. I also read The Mists of Avalon last year and have a new interest in the Arthurian Legends. (Also we watch Merlin!)
    I've been over to your website and seem to be having some trouble with it... Can we order things from you directly there, or do you only sell via the other online stores? It's just that when I click on the individual pictures nothing happens - and I would love a Christmas decoration...

    1. Hi Janice - thank you for your lovely comments. You are correct - some images open and some don't, so I shall have to sort that out! In the meantime you can email me for details of anything at and I will get back to you. Cathy.

  10. What fabulous pieces these are. I remember the Pied Piper too. Great to say out aloud. Your work is stunning.

  11. Your bowls are amazing

  12. These are lovely Cathy ......thanks for visiting my blog and commenting so I could come and find you ....x