Winter Light

December 30, 2017

Winter Light

During a holiday visit to Newgrange,---the jewel in the crown of Ireland’s Ancient East,--I was bowled over by the sense of season in the landscape and how change illumines our lives day to day.

 

The low lights of the winter sun illuminate our lives in a startling way; we suddenly see things we’ve never seen before in total clarity. The sun shoots into our homes through windows and doors and even into the adjoining rooms.  (Is that a cobweb hanging off my favorite chair?)  The sun is so low in the sky we can look straight at it with our own eye level ...  and then, as entrancing and invasive as it appears, it soon disappears and darkness takes over. 

 

rev candleholder wildflower meadow Nicholas Mosse Pottery handcrafted spongeware 

 

To see ourselves through the short days and dark hours of winter nights, the world created artificial light. Lamps of all kinds have kept us busy and safe and cozy.  The Romans used small pottery lamps that burned oil, which they could carry from room to room.  Candles of all sorts were also portable in small candle holders, made of metals or ceramics or anything that could not catch fire. The Irish country people had rush lights in metal stands: reeds dipped in flammable tallow provided some light to long winter nights.  Because of our long, long dark nights, lamps and lights are very important in Ireland.

 

Irish rush light

 

These days there are so many choices of lamp shapes and materials, not to mention all the new light bulbs coming on stream.  Huge or tiny, flamboyant or discreet, task efficient or atmospheric, lamps of all sorts are available to help us challenge the dark. Here at our pottery, we created a simple lamp shape many years ago and it is still loved by our customers.  Perhaps because our pottery lamps are simply classical, they can fit in anywhere as a general ‘table lamp,’ and the choice of pattern and colour can change with the decor theme. They do the job in a plainly beautiful way.

Susan Mosse

 





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