Ursula Mommens

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Post by studio-pots March 26th 2023, 3:07 pm

Ursula Mommens - Page 2 Unm10

A moulded earthenware figure produced by Ursula and her second husband the sculptor, Norman Mommens, in the early 1950s. All of the figures like this that I have seen have been unmarked.

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Post by studio-pots March 26th 2023, 3:16 pm

Ursula Mommens - Page 2 Um_6s10

A stoneware vase with brush decoration.

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Ursula Mommens - Page 2 Empty Small vase - Ursula Mommens

Post by HelenC August 22nd 2023, 7:28 pm

Everything about this small vase is saying Abuja to me, but I can’t place the mark! Am I on the right track or can anyone suggest a maker? Thanks

Ursula Mommens - Page 2 Img_6010
Ursula Mommens - Page 2 Img_6011
Ursula Mommens - Page 2 Img_6012


Last edited by HelenC on August 22nd 2023, 10:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Potty August 22nd 2023, 8:07 pm

Ursula Mommens I believe.

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Post by HelenC August 22nd 2023, 8:09 pm

Thank you -not someone whose pots I’ve come across although I do know the name, off to do some more research.
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Post by philpot August 22nd 2023, 8:58 pm

Nice one Potty, It being the one she used at Durham Wharf 1934-49. She worked at Wenford Bridge with Michael Cardew in 1945. After he had been working in Ghana for several years, Wonder if that is the African influence?
Research???? We got it  all here!
https://www.20thcenturyforum.com/t6829-ursula-mommens?highlight=mommens
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Post by HelenC August 22nd 2023, 9:23 pm

Brilliant, thank you. I’d forgotten that I did know one fact about Ursula Mommens, that she was the great-granddaughter of Charles Darwin. I’m glad there’s a potential Michael Cardew link, it makes my first thought of Abuja seem not so way out there!
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Post by studio-pots August 23rd 2023, 12:51 am

philpot wrote:Nice one Potty, It being the one she used at Durham Wharf 1934-49. She worked at Wenford Bridge with Michael Cardew in 1945. After he had been working in Ghana for several years, Wonder if that is the African influence?
Research???? We got it  all here!
https://www.20thcenturyforum.com/t6829-ursula-mommens?highlight=mommens

I have often seen the above written about it "being the one she used at Durham Wharf 1934-49". As I have never knowingly seen a piece made at Durham Wharf, even in Ursula's cellar when shown old pieces from her archive by Ursula herself, I can't really say for certain whether it was used there or not. However, as the mark are the initials, UD, for Ursula Darwin, it seems likely as when she was at Durham Wharf on the Thames in Chiswick she was married and known as Ursula Trevelyan. Therefore the mark logically would pre-date her marriage to Julian Trevelyan in 1934.

Basically the statement isn't correct as it suggests that she only used the mark at Durham Wharf. The reality is that she used the mark to stamp her thrown ceramics up until she stopped making pots at South Heighton near Newhaven a couple of years or so before her death in 2010 at the age of 101.

Ursula did look after Michael Cardew's pottery at Wenford Bridge, basically looking after the geese and keeping an eye on things, during Michael's absence but never actually work with him. She did make slip trailed earthenware at Winchcombe around the same time and kept examples on show in her house until her death.

Your pot has one of Ursula's common decoration techniques and glazes that she used in the 1990s and early 2000s when I knew her and gave her several solo exhibitions at my gallery. Therefore it was made at her South Heighton Pottery probably during this period (I suspect in the 1990s).

The vase was made, as many of Ursula's pieces was, to arrange flowers and the slightly exaggerated flair neck was Ursula's design to help with the flower arranging. It even got more pronounced later on.

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Post by NaomiM September 13th 2023, 9:37 pm

Ursula Mommens - Page 2 Img_0633Ursula Mommens - Page 2 Img_0632Ursula Mommens - Page 2 Img_0634Ursula Mommens - Page 2 Img_0635

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