Ceramics offer all kinds of exciting sensations – to the eye, to the hand, to the lips and even to the nose. Things made of fired clay are an intimate part of our everyday life, yet seldom do we stop to consider their special physical qualities. From the touch of a textured jug to the smell of a raku pot, ceramics can be appreciated in a variety of ways. When clay is fired it becomes hard but it starts as a soft squishy substance, and some would argue its seductive touch is almost like flesh. Ancient pots can still show the finger marks of potters from thousands of years ago.
Clay can be rolled, pinched, squeezed and even thumped into shape. It can be thrown on a wheel or pressed into a mould. It can be decorated with textures, patterns and glazes with surfaces that are rough and rock-like or smooth and silky. Clay is a versatile substance and has many uses. Some of the earliest writing was on clay tablets. It is still used today for water pipes, building bricks, bathroom suites and electrical insulators. The objects in the exhibition demonstrate some of the different ways clay can be used for cups and mugs, drums and whistles or exciting and unusual sculpture. Experience how they can awaken the senses, evoke a feeling, recall a memory, or stir the imagination. Listen to the ping of porcelain, the tinkle of a ceramic bell or the delicate sound of an ocarina when it is blown.
This exhibition is accompanied by a touchy-feely handling collection