Sophie Cummings gave a wonderful lunchtime talk on ceramics on Friday 8 February to a group of about 22 people. It's lovely to see these talks so well attended because a lot of thought obviously goes into preparing the talks, and they are always very entertaining and informative.
Sophie started by giving us examples of different sorts of ceramics using these pots as illustrations of what she meant:
She talked about the fact that pots can be made from coils, from putting your thumb into clay and making a pinch pot, there was an example of one of these pots which was so smooth and symmetrical that it was hard to believe it was a pinch pot. Pots can also be made on a wheel. A variety of different clays including earthenware, porcelain and stoneware, these are fired in a kiln after drying, and often glazed to give them colour.
Peter Burgess, the Head of Ceramics at the Swindon School of Art, advised Swindon Museum and Art Gallery
on making additions to a fascinating studio ceramics collection which was begun in 1965.
Here is a photo of Peter Burgess with one of his ceramic pieces.
It ends with ' His primary interest is the relationship of glaze with the form'.
Sophie also reminded us with this old photo of a potter taking things out a kiln that the practice of making ceramics has not changed over the years. Once a piece goes in the kiln, it's a bit of a hit and miss process and the results are not always what one might expect.
There was also a photo of a potter with a large pot. It's possible to see pots like these being made on a wheel at Whichford Pottery
a fascinating experience.
Sophie then talked about the ceramics on display in the cabinets and in the gallery. I'll include a couple of photos of the audience:
And who knew when people were able to put milk in tea after the tea had gone into the cup? It was when porcelain was used to make cups because it could stand a hotter temperature than the stoneware ones.
And remind you that the next free lunchtime talk is at 12.30pm on Friday 8 March on 'This Woman's Work' exhibition