Soon after I bought my house in Brixham, the heart of the UK trawler fleet, the inevitable happened. I gave my heart to a burly fisherman who’d been vying for my affection from the very first time that I clapped eyes on him. Luckily I will not have to endure the whiff of mackerel and damp innards of rigger boots. For the gorgeous man that was given unfettered access to the boudoir of Lovely Grey is odour-free. My Bernard Moss Fisherman is Cornish, about five inches high and made of clay, perhaps in the sixties.
Since first meeting him in someone else’s home I was blown away by the joyful demeanour that he shares with his magnificent catch. I love his colour palette, chunkiness and intricate design. Bad thoughts about kidnapping him came to mind. Surely his owner wouldn’t notice that he’d eloped.
Fortunately I denied my inner thief the chance to make her grand entrance into the world. I don’t think my plea that this was a crime of passion would have been an adequate defence in court. So I looked for legitimate means to secure a union. This sibling of the original who is, of course, identical in every way was eventually found on Ebay. He was lonely and in need of the love of a good woman. How could I have refused him even though he came at considerable cost?
The potter, Bernard Moss, worked in a number of studios around Cornwall. According to the website Cornish Ceramics, a useful resource about the county’s pottery heritage, he sold an annual limited edition collection to Heal’s Furnishing Store in the late fifties and sixties. These were the predominantly blue, black and white pieces. I was taken by their timeless, naive design, their warmth and humour and sheer ingenuity. They frequently have moving parts and give them the feel of automata.
Ages back I did a little experiment. I was exploring attachment to my possessions and was moved to give away some of my most valued things. My fisherman went to the home of my friends, Mr Metrosexual and Ruff Stu. I enjoyed visiting him in his new home. But one day the boys returned him. They said that they’d been similarly stirred to return him to me. Let’s just say that I didn’t put up too much of a fight to change their minds. My lovely fisherman is back in the bedroom!