Magic Wood 18/16
Designer: Vicky Lovatt
Limited Edition: 35
People working at Moorcroft see woodland in three, totally different ways. For a collector, schooled in the tree-covered landscapes of Hazledene, Eventide and Moonlit Blue, woods have a very special meaning which most collectors would readily understand. In this, the 25th anniversary of Hugh and Maureen’s arrival at Moorcroft, other stories about woods have emerged, largely because Moorcroft is all about stories and dreams. As a child who grew up in the post World War II England, Hugh particularly remembers sweets and chocolate falling noisily from the branches above his head the moment rationing came to an end. Demobbed after six years in the RAF, Hugh’s father used to tell his son that the sweets came from tree fairies who lived in the magic wood. The fairies which reported directly to Father Christmas were red: those who made their own sweets and chocolate were green and very hard to see, while the blue fairies were bad and spent their time looking for naughty children on whom they could drop Brussels sprouts, tapioca and small lumps of coal.
As the circles of life continued to turn, the childhood era turned into the parent era with each of the Edwards’ four children thoroughly schooled themselves in the myths and legends of their own magic wood. For grandchildren a generation later, it was much the same, although health-and-safety conscious young mums and dads baulked at the thought of coal falling from the trees above their children’s heads! On a recent and extraordinarily fruitful late evening visit to the magic wood, a huge stag with awesome antlers leapt to its feet to the delight of all ten grandchildren and galloped away noisily into the dusk. By this time, owls were hooting, spiders were spinning their webs, badgers and rabbits rustled mysteriously in the undergrowth and the shadows from the oak trees lengthened with each passing minute turning the woodland toadstools into colourful homes for fairies. The wood was still a magic wood, but sufficiently different in the twilight for all ten grandchildren to seek out the comforting warmth of their parents’ hands.
Since Hugh is forever telling his famous stories at the Works, it was Vicky Lovatt who picked up the threads of this particular storyline, and when the Magic Wood vase arrived, it was full to the brim pure magic.
Vicky’s 2012 prestige catalogue design is divided into three windows of differing visions in the same mysterious glade deep in a truly magic wood. Each opening in the woodland features a different animal underneath a dense, dark canopy of mature oaks. Spider’s webs caste strange, dark shadows among flowering hemlock. The first animal to enter the magic wood is a lone stag foraging among Vicky’s favourite twilight bonnet toadstools. Above him, a red squirrel beds down for the night, adding his subtle colours to the mysterious changes of light. The hoot of an owl masks the rustle of badgers feet as the next picture is revealed. Finally, it is a hare which stands alert in the foreground, listening to the night chorus above, while young rabbits graze oblivious to imminent dangers and shadows move with almost haunting mystery. This is Moorcroft at its very atmospheric best. Magic Wood is there to enchant us all. Another of Hugh’s stories has become frozen in ceramic time, giving us all an opportunity to reflect on our own past and the wonders of the natural world around us.