Approaching the Moon

Pilkington Royal Lancastrian English Arts & Crafts Rosebowl with Swirling Bas Relief and Moon Grey Craquelle Glazing (LEO Design)

Fifty years ago today, our three astronaut-heroes—Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins—had been flying toward the moon for three days. Now they were almost there.

While we fete the bravery, skill, and intelligence of the three lunar astronauts, let's not forget about the incredible contributions of the earth-bound scientists, mathematicians, technicians and craftspeople who supported the mission from the ground—the 400,000 specialists who, similarly, lived, ate and breathed the Apollo 11 event. And, while the space trip and its preparation were important, we also have to recognize how important a "jump start" the mission gave to the civilian world of science and technology after splash-down.

I began collecting "otherworldly" ceramics before I knew how to classify or describe them. I've been attracted to those pieces with glazes resembling extraterrestrial planets or moons—either real or imagined. This piece, made in England by Pilkington Royal Lancastrian in the 1920's or 1930's, bears a "Moon Grey" craquelle glaze over a deep, swirling bas relief. Let it hover over your sitting room, seated upon your bookshelf or mantelpiece. Click on the photo above to learn more about it.


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