Bill Fisher

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Bill Fisher Empty Bill Fisher

Post by Celtic_Fan October 5th 2012, 1:14 pm

Many people aren't aware that Bill Fisher (Celtic Pottery) was also an artist.

Bill (William) Fisher was born in 1916 and studied at Camberwell Art College, before he moved to Mousehole - when we mostly know him for his pottery.

Much of his work to my mind is quite 'disturbed' and really distorts figures.

These two which I've just acquired are more 'normal' although the second is showing some of that distortion.

Bill Fisher 001a10

Bill Fisher 004a10
Bill Fisher 006a11

Perhaps those people with other drawings (including that self portrait) can add this this topic.

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Bill Fisher Empty Re: Bill Fisher

Post by thamesweb October 16th 2012, 8:22 pm

Bill Fisher Fisher001_1000

Bill Fisher Fisher002_1000

Here are the two pieces from my late brothers collection as mentioned elsewhere. They measure 24cms deep. My feeling is that my brother bought them in 1962 or 1963 when he was directing OUDS productions at the Minack.
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Post by thamesweb October 16th 2012, 8:51 pm

Of course there is no guarantee that this is the same Fisher, but it seems very likely. I also have a much larger painting in a similar style of an eagle on a sombre, dark green background. Just looking for it now. It must be in the East Wing!!
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Post by thamesweb October 16th 2012, 9:06 pm

Here is another, of Mousehole itself.

Bill Fisher LS_Mousehole12b
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Post by thamesweb October 16th 2012, 9:12 pm

Bill Fisher Signed_Mousehole14b

Here's the signature.
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Post by thamesweb October 16th 2012, 9:27 pm

I found the Eagle... well a second rate photo of it, but you get the idea. I think it is a tremendously powerful image and I am not in the least surprised that my brother bought it.

Bill Fisher LS_Eagle18v2

I have a feeling that the white sheen at the top is something to do with my son when he was 8... needs investigating but no real damage done. :)

I will continue to hunt for the original.
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Post by thamesweb October 16th 2012, 9:39 pm

I am not certain the above brilliant black bird is by Fisher, but there is every chance.
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Post by Celtic_Fan October 16th 2012, 11:32 pm

TW - Many thanks for these - FANTASTIC.

It is certainly the same Bill (William) Fisher. Some of the early pottery from him and Margaret were labeled as The Wharf Cottage. The 2nd mermaid is clearly the same hand, but this is the first time I've heard of Bakery Studio.

I'm also fairly certain the last bird is also Bill's, I have pottery with similar style images.

These are all different in style to other work of his I've seen - it never ceases to amaze me how versatile Bill was.

It seems to say that those two mermaids are hand coloured prints ? which would suggest others were made and sold.

Congratulations on some VERY NICE examples of Bill's work.

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Post by thamesweb October 17th 2012, 4:13 pm

Thanks for that. It has been fun finding out and getting to know something about the artist.

Now. Who knows anything about John Martin from much the same era?
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Bill Fisher Empty Celtic Pottery - William & Margaret Fisher Mousehole Greetings Cards

Post by bradpm October 3rd 2016, 6:24 pm

Bit of a lurker on the forums as love studio pottery, but know nothing about it.

Inherited some pieces and also came across a collection of greetings cards from The Studio in Mousehole. A couple are signed and most seem to be very similar ages apart from one which I guess is early and from when the The Studio started up.

All are handprinted and many are also labelled in pencil - for example King Arthur or Maggie Fisher - Cornish Witch

Cant find any other examples online although the artwork looks very similar to finished works.

Anyone shed any more light on these before I decide what to do with them as seems a shame to have them in a drawer?  Are they rare and would they be of interest to collectors?

Personally, I love them and would hate them to get split up and remounted.

Thanks

(sorry cant post a link as Only just registered but have the images on a gallery if anyone wants to see)
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Bill Fisher Empty Re: Bill Fisher

Post by studio-pots October 3rd 2016, 11:36 pm

Bill Fisher 11_f10

_________________
Now you should know by now that Potty and I need to see your bottom - we're funny that way!
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Bill Fisher Empty Re: Bill Fisher

Post by Celtic_Fan September 15th 2023, 3:19 pm

I've now managed to get my own William Fisher self portrait Jumping For Joy
As well as some other of his works of art and 'lithographs'/prints. I believe most if not all of the prints probably date to the early 60's when we know they did sell small prints as gift cards. But I have no evidence for this - except that I've not come across any later printed images being sold and several of them are related to some of the popular early designs used on the pottery. But I wonder if they sold prints first, before they were added to the pottery items or if sold alongside when certain images seemed popular?? I guess we'll never know.
All came from the estate of the late Nigel Hallard, another Mousehole artist who was friends with Bill & Maggie.
Some of the art and prints are signed, but many are not.

No date for this Self Portrait, but it's clearly a later one.
Oil on Board. When I first got it I wondered if it was oil paint. But it is reflective and seem to be a fine very thin Oil paint.
Bill Fisher 005b10
Bill Fisher 006b10

I'll add a few other images separately below and more over time.


Last edited by Celtic_Fan on September 15th 2023, 3:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Celtic_Fan September 15th 2023, 3:26 pm

Two small 'scratched' artworks. Neither is signed but came from the large collection where several were.
The bird is very clearly Bill's work. But I did wonder about the monkey/baboon.
But after I got them, it is very clear that they both came from the very same Scrapper Board - so no doubts about it's origin. I knew Bill could do some fine work as is seen in places in much of his art - but this really is amazingly detailed and fine.

Bill Fisher 007a10

Bill Fisher 010a12
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Post by Celtic_Fan September 15th 2023, 3:34 pm

Next a Wonderful large dragon print - this has a goldish finish which makes it very reflective, so it really needs to be seen in a darkish area. It's leaning against that self portrait frame for an idea of size (narrower, but taller).

Bill Fisher 011a12

Next a painted boat image, which I'm sure you all recognise from the Celtic Pottery. This is almost certainly done early during the Mousehole days. I have some prints which are very slightly different and face the other way. I wonder if this was an original that was used by those decorating the pottery in the early days?

Bill Fisher 012a12
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Post by Celtic_Fan September 15th 2023, 3:44 pm

Last for now. A wonderful large King print. It hasn't all printed perfectly but still very nice. You'll notice there is a Lion behind his legs and a Eagle behind his head. As well as what looks to me like 3 lions on the shield (only head of lowest one).
Anyone know if there is a King that is connected to an Eagle and a Lion?

Bill Fisher 014a12
Bill Fisher 015a11
Bill Fisher 016a13
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Bill Fisher Empty Re: Bill Fisher

Post by 22 Crawford St. September 15th 2023, 6:09 pm

Questions:

What was the total archive - how many? How much else is out there?

Never heard of scraper board before, it is like the crayon then smoke soot we did as kids, where you scrape off the black to reveal the undercoat?

They would look better sympathetically framed, don't cut the king down. If you get them on the wall do post a photo. A frame might aslo protect them.

Nice things - jealous


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Post by Celtic_Fan September 15th 2023, 6:49 pm

Crawford - Unframed 'lithographs' there are 10 different images (some have copies), these 2 'scratch cards', this 1 boat painting, 2 pen and Ink drawings a 1 'sketch'. Separately I bought 2 framed paintings (but there were 5 other paintings for sale). Painting there should be loads out there. But yeh, who knows how many different lithographs designs were produced??? Like everything, we'll slowly find out as they surface.

Yep I intend to get frames for them and keep the lithograph sheets as large as possible. Each one is clearly hand printed as there are subtle difference in how heavy the ink is or isn't and excess ink, between the copies. And the signed ones all have slightly differently placed signatures - so individually hand signed.

Here is a close up of the back of the scraper board, explaining their use. I do have a vague memory of having something similar as a kid (probably at Primary school - I wasn't very good!)
Bill Fisher 010b10
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Post by 22 Crawford St. September 15th 2023, 7:26 pm

Ahh so you ink it yourself? Back then everyone had ink and used ink - biro was a new invention!
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Post by 22 Crawford St. September 15th 2023, 8:04 pm

CF - one thing the three lions always face to the left. Always if it's england. England that is. meaning if you mirror that print it looks better

That would also make his right had his sword arm. I think it's reversed. Is it right or left handed on the king ceramics?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coat_of_arms_of_England
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Post by Celtic_Fan September 15th 2023, 8:46 pm

Not sure off hand, I'd have to check photo's, to see if I can find a full image - I don't actually have a king yet. But Dan does.
But 11 years ago, Big Ed made an observation which may be relevant
big ed wrote:, it would appear that Bill was left handed , just a little thing of mine when I look at drawings and paintings  Happy
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Post by Celtic_Fan September 19th 2023, 5:47 pm

A few more of the original works by Bill.

First a small Pen & Ink of a couple in street scene.
Bill Fisher 008a12

And an 'abstract'. Have I been looking at this for too long, or can I see a face in the circle Um...
Not even sure if this is the correct way up.
Bill Fisher 009a13
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Post by Celtic_Fan September 19th 2023, 5:53 pm

Another Pen & Ink 'wacky' one.
I think this may be a heavily worked dragon.
There is definitely head with 2 eyes and a long jaw. Towards the lower sides and lower bottom are 'feet' with 3 toes & claws (bill did 3 toed dragons).
Signed about 1 inch above the 11inch mark on ruler.
Bill Fisher 010a13

Finally for now a nude sketch.
Bill Fisher 011a13
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Post by Celtic_Fan September 20th 2023, 12:24 pm

Another original art work.
Described as mixed media on velvet. Image size is 11inch x 15inch

There a little reflection from the glass, but not much.
This is now hanging in my living room above my comp desk, where there was a perfect sized space up at ceiling level. The frame is too pale for my taste (although not quite as pink as it looks here), so at some point I'll stain or paint it a dark brown/Walnut. I'm also going to take it out the frame and see how much more image is hiding behind the mount and possible even a signature? I did find one on one of the original pen & ink's starting this thread. So the image size may increase.

Bill Fisher 003a12
Bill Fisher 004a12
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Post by Celtic_Fan September 26th 2023, 1:21 pm

Just a quick update of info.
Looking back over some old emails from people. I'd forgotten that Bill wasn't just friends with Nigel Hallard. He was actually based in Nigel's studio in Mousehole for a while. This would explain why Nigel had so much of Bill's work and prints. I'm not sure when he left, but the Forms And Faces booklet shows him being based there, which was published in 1986.
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Post by Celtic_Fan October 12th 2023, 4:39 pm

22 Crawford St. wrote:Questions:

They would look better sympathetically framed, don't cut the king down. If you get them on the wall do post a photo. A frame might aslo protect them.

They are not on the wall yet, but I have now managed to frame a few.
I doing them myself. Just buying cheap f&g pictures from a local auction, when the size is about right and I like(ish) the frame. Some mounts I've enlarged the opening and the pen & ink I've cut the mount myself. The 'scratch cards' are stuck onto a mount, as I didn't want to loose the edges behind a mount.

I've also been looking at the printing. Some seem that they may have been professionally done, whilst others are clearly hand done ( some sort of 'block' printing, as they have very heavy amounts of ink on the paper which you can actually feel the thickness of ink.)

Some you've seen unframed first.

Bill Fisher 013a12
Bill Fisher 042a10

The eyes on this 'baboon' really do follow you - it's just so good!
Bill Fisher 013a13

And now one you've not seen.
These mask prints are the heaviest printed. I've put 2 side by side in this frame as one has areas of print that the other doesn't. I don't think they are just 'unprinted' in the left hand one, it just seems that extra areas were block printed on the right one. The images are slightly wider at the top than the bottom and not exactly symmetrical, which is why they 'may' look slightly wonky - but they are as upright as it's possible to get them.
I like the fact they are so similar yet different. Makes a good a SPOT THE DIFFERENCE.
Bill Fisher 012a13

With most of the images, the printing is visible on the reverse of the paper and looks almost waxy - as with the back of a mask print.
Bill Fisher 010a15
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