Tom Bowling Analysis

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Vyse Tom Bowling
In 1936, Vyse developed a new and complementary figurative work titled Tom Bowling. This is a construct of the well-known Staffordshire Toby Philpots Jug form. For some, the name Tom Bowling may conjure up a scene from the old sea shanty and the death of a sailor lad. Vyse however, takes the opportunity to make a pun of the name, and instead of a sailor, he presents a figure of an unknown subject when playing a game of bowls. The composition encapsulates the spirit of this contemporary sporting figure. Vyse vividly portrays the rotund player, half-kneeling in rapt concentration as he looks towards the Jack in readiness to bowl his wood. In the Staffordshire tradition, Vyse uses the subject’s bowler-hat as a removable lid. Commenting on Vyse’s Toby jug decoration, Naimaster in his Walker’s Monthly article suggests:
The decoration has arisen from fundamental pottery processes. He did not overlay them, superimpose the new upon the old and blot it out, but laid them on a level in his work. The Tom Bowling jug exemplifies this. Toby Philpots there have been, but this is contemporary portraiture. 20
One can safely assume that Naimaster is referring to the traditional Staffordshire Toby jug decoration. The obvious
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She told her intimates that she found it difficult to continue making pots when some of her friends, artists, and communist intellectuals were leaving Chelsea to fight in Spain. Almost every town in Britain had its Aid for Spain Committees, collecting food and money for medical aid and organising meetings to propagate the Republican cause. It was her objective to form such a committee in Chelsea. It would be composed of members from within Labour, and Communist Parties. Her dilemma was that Vyse was vehemently opposed to participating in political movements of any

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