Ulla Frisch 

Pottery Bears, Lino Cut Print c1970

7, Tiverton Way

Ulla Frisch was an artist who lived in Cambridge from the late 1940s till her death (aged 98) in September 2019. As a young woman she came to England in 1938 from Vienna, where she was born. She worked in a wartime toy-making workshop and as a graphic designer, but as her son and daughter grew up she had more time for her creative work, attending courses and becoming an active member of the Cambridge Drawing Society. She worked in a variety of media, making linoprints, woodcuts and wood engravings as well as collages and mixed media. She also did some pottery and clay sculptures when she had access to the facilities. 

The print “Pottery Bears” is undated, like most of her work, but probably dates from the 1970s. It is almost certainly inspired by 18th century pottery bear jugs in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. These have detachable heads that could be used as cups. Often they have collars and chains and may be holding a dog. A blog by Caroline Murray talks about the Fitzwilliam Museum’s collection (see https://professorhedgehogsjournal.uk/2018/05/19/object-of-themonth-may-2018/) and suggests a connection with bears used for bear-baiting, which was popular in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. As well as the print, Ulla made a pottery bear, with a detachable head (Left). But, as she liked bears, hers has no collar or chains but looks quite friendly. 

If you would like to learn more about Ulla's  work, please email her daughter Monica : mfrisch@phonecoop.coop