Inspired by Royal Worcester's archives

Are you interested in ceramics? If so, you might like to visit the Precious Clay exhibition in Worcester. It’s a collaboration between Meadow Arts and the Museum of Royal Worcester and is on until 20 March. It features work by 19 contemporary artists alongside the latter’s own historic collections. Among them are pieces by Laura White and Emily Speed, who have made specially commissioned works in response to the Museum’s archives.

Studio work by Laura White for the  Precious Clay  exhibition, 2018, photo by the artist.

Studio work by Laura White for the Precious Clay exhibition, 2018, photo by the artist.

Laura worked with the Museum of Royal Worcester’s archives and collections to create a new installation called White Mud. She digitally scanned key objects from the museum to make 3D printed replicas, which were then used to make moulds to cast from. Similar moulds were made from more familiar, everyday objects, including plastic containers and household ornaments. In the artist’s own words:

“Bringing these different types of objects together using the same material conflates different histories and questions how we value objects depending on their materiality and the context in which we come across them – from the museum to the domestic, the perfect to the damaged, and what our expectations are of different materials, in particular porcelain.”

Laura’s installation encourages us to reflect on the ways in which the development of new technologies has impacted the production of porcelain today. How does it affect the value of handmade collectable items if they can be reproduced as easily as the slip cast crockery we use every day in our homes?

Have you thought about how the same technologies might affect the value of other craft or handmade items?