Iran Society Journal
Vol 2 No 1 - September 2002
The second part of the study day, the visit to Carolinda Tolstoy's studio in contrast, was no erudite examination chronologically arranged but a 'hands on' demonstration. Who would have expected in a studio in Clapham to have felt the shapes of Persian pottery, to have had illustrated the designs in a Persian manner and to have chosen the colours according to Persian principles? To sit in front of examples of all these arts and to be able to try them out for oneself was an unexpected experience enlivened by Carolinda Tolstoy's consummate artistry and skill which she freely put at our disposal, so that for a few brief moments we might have been kuzehgars of Nishapur, Kashan, or Isfahan or elsewhere in the Persian ceramic tradition.
As the pots were thrown or coloured in our hands, they suddenly became alive, almost reaching for an existence of their own, participating in our discussion on styles, materials and periods.
Carolinda included many of her own productions, such as 'A Persian Dream', a form resembling lustre ware with drawings of female figures, or 'Iskandar', a more abstract design on lustre and gold pomegranates. We wandered round the studio, picked up and inspected all the items. It was a genial and hospitable occasion - altogether a very good and interesting day.
Dr. Ronald W. Ferrier
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