Nicholas Mosse Nicholas Mosse pottery handcrafted spongeware Ireland

Trying to find out about what makes people collect things, objects, stuff, rarities, bits, we sat down with Nicholas Mosse to find out what he thinks the whole thing is about.  In a Q&A form the following is a resume of what he considers important (for him!) in collecting.

Why do you think people collect things?

Hmmm, not an easy question as we’re all so different.  For me, when I have a warm hearted response to something,  I want to touch it, maybe use it. It’s quite tactile but emotional at the same time.  But there is definitely a deep, heartfelt feeling in me that prompts me to say: I want this.

You collect things yourself; what sort of things?

I mostly gather in ceramics, things in my field that I can learn things from.  Things that are a bit wild, that push techniques, that make me laugh…maybe a little outrageous.  Money doesn’t enter into my motivation at all when I buy something for my collection.  I never expect to part with anything for starters and I never intentionally buy anything that is guaranteed to go up in value.  Many of my best loved objects are early handmade Irish country pieces,--- furniture, stone, quilts, etc.. I’ve always been interested in earlier Irish country style and traditions.


                 Nicks collection of Old Pottery can be viewed in our Irish Country Shop


How does it feel to collect items, to find the ‘perfect thing’?

I actually feel kind of excited! And very often I’ll hide a piece, put it away for a bit so I can ‘think about it’.  Whatever it is, it always gives me pleasure when I pass by it: there is a real connection.

What advice would you give to collectors?

I’d say to give in to the urge and to keep at it.  To allow yourself to react to things.  I go to auctions, car boot sales, the odd antique shop, wherever and I often come away with nothing if nothing grabs me. I’m not an online inhabitant but will occasionally check in if someone points the way. It’s important to have fun at the collecting game!

Many people collect your pottery: what advice would you give them?

Well, for retired pieces (pieces of pottery we no longer make), I think EBAY is definitely the best bet, but you have to keep checking in to find what you want.  But that’s also true of our online shop and our Irish Country Shop: we’re always moving on and doing new pieces, samples, designs.  The Nicholas Mosse collector  should even phone the shop if they’re looking for a particular piece, we might be able to help (353 56 7727505)

What is the best way to display collections?

Personally I like to be able to touch and use the things I’ve collected so open shelves are what I prefer. Of course it all depends on what you collect! For my pottery, an Irish dresser is the perfect place to display your collection; I confess that I have more than one!