Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Roll call

Over the weekend we visited our friend Simon Manchester. We've known Simon for a while now and have also come to know his remarkable collection of ceramics. Simon is one of those people for whom the word collector was invented. He is utterly incapable withholding a bid at auction or keeping his hands off his wallet if he finds a pot or a vase or a jug if he thinks is important to New Zealand’s ceramic history or hits him in the heart when he sees it. And his collection of ceramics, one of a number of things he collects in depth, is thousands of objects strong. Well it was. Unfortunately Simon’s apartment tops a tall, thin heritage building in downtown Wellington and, as the earth moved a few weeks ago, so did many of his prized pieces.

As we have seen in earthquakes before in Wellington, and as was shown many times in Christchurch, shaking and rolling has the strangest effects. And that’s how it was with Simon’s collection. A tall vase stayed put while a flat dish was thrown across the room. Things attached to the wall remained where they were supposed to be as pots, jugs and sculptures on the floor
toppled, some shelves spilled everything while some nothing at all. The result is a huge clean up job and boxes of shards.

One thing Simon told us which is worth passing on is the fact that Quake Wax takes a few weeks to harden into its stay-right-where-you-are form. His experience was that a couple of vases that had been carefully quake waxed a few days before the shake obeyed gravity leaving a sticky wax ring behind them. The loss has certainly taken a toll on the Manchester collection and a toll on Simon himself and so this pic of them both in happier times.