There is a huge question that needs answering. Why use bought in manufactured whiteware, when I am actually a clay artist? GOOD question.
The reason is multilayered.
Part of my process of making is the personal relationship I build with the ‘thing’ in development. In the language of therapy this is a process of personal identification – I am the thing, I embody the thing, I become the thing, the thing becomes me. The process of release from this is part of the completion process and comes later.
The choice of a manufactured bone china body is symbolic of the synthesis of my studies at this moment. I am, one might say, a manufactured english body; my very being has been made by my environment and by my life experience. This anthropomorphism is a given in the language of ceramics and is important to restate at the start of every project.
Sending out bone china in the form of teaware has massive cultural baggage. Bone china, the English’s industrial revolution’s answer to the porcelain trade, is tied up with tea’s story and it’s own place in the dominance and decline of the British Empire.
We are, as an early 21st century species, living with and trying to reconcile the impact of this industrial heritage on a daily basis, whilst all the time it seems to grow exponentially at a pace beyond our comprehension. We are at a crossroads culturally (some may say we have long passed the point of no return) and yet we are bound together by the same needs that generated all this change in the first place. These needs have made carers of us all.