Telling the stories of the artefacts, Harlequin Jug

During July-August 2012 Creative Future ran a course at Brighton Museum called ‘Museum Tales’. Run by Liz Bahs, a published poet, course participants, all marginalized writers, produced the following pieces inspired by the Museum’s collection. At the end of the course they performed their work in the Museum galleries. The course will run again in January 2013. For more information check their website.

Creative Future run the creative writing workshops in partnership with Brighton Museum and Art Gallery.

Museum Tales performance
Museum Tales performance

Harlequin Jug circa 1955 by Dino Martens for Aureliano Toso (Murano Italy)

‘Get me Frank Sinatra on the line will ya honey’

‘Hey Frank how are ya?! – Dino here ….. Dean Martin!  Just got back

from Brighton England … sure it rained!  Went to their museum – guess

what? the lip sofa’s in there, the one  that crazy guy with the moustache

did.…. Yeah that’s the one –  Salvador Dali – Mae West … What?  …

Marilyn Monroe?   … ah Monroe shmonroe ..   one swell party! …. You

couldn’t do that on the sofa now – it’s behind glass.

Remember that jug?  VeniceItaly – 55?  You me and Sammy Davis?  We

were there for Marlon’s after shoot party.  …..Yeah On the Waterfront! … ….

Fish  Restaurant in Burano – full of fat cats, mafia and Murano

glass blowers. Plenty of drink and other stuff.  Sammy went round telling

everyone I was a big shot designer, got a commission off some guy  –

Promised him I’d have the piece by morning – took the money off him

right there and blew it gambling. Then found out he had friends – got

heavy. So I had to get to work.. Grabbed me a glass blower – went

over to Murano – must have been past midnight.  He fired up the kiln and

copied the design of the cocktail jug I’d drawn on my hand.  I remember

he asked about colour – we were the worse for drink – I just picked up a

handful of glass off cuts and said I wanted to go bohemian and do the

colours in squares.  It went from there.  He blew – I sang  and out came

the jug. All violent colours enough to make you hurl with a dawn

hangover. He said we gotta call it something – like you would a picture to

make  it art and I said ‘ragged squares’ and he said

‘No, harlequin cos we were in Italy’.  Sounded good to me.  We went

back to the party – everyone pretty much shot to hell by then.  I presented

the jug – sang my song ‘Hey brother pour the wine’ – the

place rocked.  So I guess he liked it.  But it’s in the museum now –

Yeah it’s true! I took a shot of it to show you.   Behind glass with a little

bitty card –  but they spelt my name wrong! Ain’t that a kick in the head?

Moray Sanders

Leave a Reply