Modern Pottery : Showing on Floor 2 + Online
Clay pots are the most environmentally sustainable vessels on our planet. The oldest pottery in the world dates back 20,000 years to broken cooking pots found in a Chinese cave. Even earlier, humans had been using clay to make effigies of their gods and goddesses and a tiny statuette of a naked woman was found in the Czech Republic 30,000 years ago - the birth of art with symbolic meaning. Fast forward to now and our ceramic artists are still using the same earthenware, stone ware and porcelain that has been used throughout history, continually exploring and redefining the boundaries of clay.
CIRCLE ceramics room houses the work of studio potters who combine poetry of form with functionality. We have pottery which is inspired by modern art and the great 20c potters Hans Coper, Lucy Rie and Bernard Leach as well as unique household jugs, cups and bowls - sourcing local clays from the same earth as our iron age ancestors who mixed raw clay and water with bare feet to make their coiled cooking pots.
Our Ceramic artists play with centuries old English, European and Japanese glazing techniques: Pearlescent lustres and soft matt glazes which melt and drip over forms like beautiful abstract paintings are a feature of this collection. Unlike a painting or photograph, pottery is sculpture and demands touch as well as vision. Come, take time and gently run your finger over the surface of a hand thrown bowl - as the old Japanese pot maker once said “ thunderclap from a clear sky.”