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Carolinda Tolstoy
A flamboyant British potter.

British studio potter Carolinda Tolstoy studied fine art in Paris from 1967-69. From 1969-70 she studied at the Inchbald School of Design and from 1972-73 at the Sir John Cass School of Art, both in London. From 1973-80 she worked at the Chelsea Pottery. She established her own studio in London in 1978, and also works overseas, including in Greece, France and Italy. Tolstoy is known for her richly decorated, wheel-thrown faience, which is finished with gold and other luster.

Tolstoy is the descendant of an old Middle Eastern family, which is also connected to one of Russia's prominent families. She draws inspiration from various sources, including Russian architecture, 17th century Iznik pottery and the Safavid illuminations and miniatures of 17th century. The result is a style of pottery displaying these influences but representing a style unique to Tolstoy.

Ernst J. Grube's monograph 'Carolinda Tolstoy Ceramics' is more than just a song of praise about an accomplished potter. It also takes us through sections of the history of ceramics, in particular those connected with Tolstoy's work, placing it in a historical context - Islamic ceramics, maiolica (tin-glazed pottery), luster as well as the influence of William De Morgan's Oriental ceramics.

Platter by Carolinda TolstoyCharacteristic of her work is a flowing and playful, stylized floral decoration rooted in Ottoman design and sometimes reminiscent of William De Morgan's work. This is combined with gold luster and other metallic lusters.

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