- Whichford Pottery - showing how a factory makes the functional
- Chris Bowen "Born not made" - starts with a great lunch served on the master's plates
- Mike Dodd "Potter" an investigation into quality
- Anne Mette Hjortshøj from Bornholm "Honest paying attention" - title says it all
- Nic Collins on woodfired pots where the vapours supply the glaze
- Lisa Hammond: 'A Sense of Adventure' studio in a railway ticket office!
Sunday 15 February 2015
making things that last and the week before it was movies about food which is not destined to last long at all. In the programme last week, I was a little dishonest/deluded in suggesting that pottery would last forever. Since then I've been on a bit a of jag about pots, potters, kilns, slipware, salt-glaze and bisque. It's been really interesting listening to people who had clay in their blood and have constructed a life for themselves, their families and numerous apprentices out of pots. Mike Dodd suggests (below) that the first pots were created by accident after some fool dropped a clay-lined basket used for holding water into a fire. Decorations on early pots are often from having braids pushed into the wet clay before firing; and the ziggy-zaggy patterns etched or scraped or painted on later pottery could be mystical trace of these origins. In the same way, Greek temple builders moved from tree-trunks to massive stone for the pillars to support roofs but still felt obliged to flute the columns (= 'bark') and incorporate foliage at the top. There are two issues in the process of firing pottery 1) you need to carry out an irreversible chemical reaction on the flabby clay so that it stays rigid forever 2) you often need to make the clay impervious to water with a glaze. Glazes are effectively a thin layer of glass bonded to the surface of the clay. That's all I understand about the process - clearly it will require several years as an apprentice and a lifetime of practice to really internalise what is going on.