To mark the opening of its new Ceramics Galleries, the V&A
is holding three days of ceramic-inspired events. Visitors will be able to join a talk with Edmund de Waal or contribute to The Collection, an installation by Clare Twomey. A kiln will be built and fired in the V&A garden by Thiébaut Chagué. Willie Harcourt-Cooze will give a talk about the history of chocolate and ceramics. There will be a film of porcelain figurines falling in love by chav potter Barnaby Barford; and the V&As skilled conservation team will advise on how to look after your own ceramics. In the workshop area of the new galleries visitors will also be able to try throwing, pinching and potting with the London Potters and contribute to the making of a large ceramic mosaic of Queen Victorias head.
Ceramic artist Clare Twomey will ask visitors to help create The Collection a site-specific installation within the Raphael Gallery. Over the three days, the gallery will be set out with empty vitrines for visitors to fill with their memories of ceramic objects that they cherish and hold dear. Clare Twomey is a British artist who works with clay in large-scale installations, sculpture and site-specific works.
Le Soif et la Source
Over the course of the weekend, French ceramic artist Thiébaut Chagué will build and fire a site-specific kiln in the John Madejski Garden, creating one of his signature pieces in the process. The kiln will be constructed and lit on Friday evening and will be at full heat on Saturday afternoon, when Thiébaut plans to open up the kiln Raku-style to show the ceramic object being formed. On Sunday the kiln will be left to cool and cracked open to see the final piece emerge.
Ceramics and chocolate
Willie Harcourt-Cooze, from Willies Cacao on Channel 4, and his team will demonstrate traditional hot chocolate-making using replica 18th-century ceramic chocolatières. Willies traditional truffles and hot chocolates with flavours developed specially for Ceramica weekend will be available to buy and try over the weekend. On Saturday afternoon (15.00) Willie will also give a talk on the journey of chocolate from bean to bar and will examine the array of special ceramics that were created in the 18th century to enjoy the fashionable hot chocolate drink.
A poor, down-at-heel boy falls for a beautiful girl with shattering consequences in Barnaby Barfords animation of a tragic love story played out by porcelain figurines on the back shelves of a bric-a-brac shop. Visitors can watch the ten minute animation and an interview with Barnaby (looped all weekend), and then try out making stop-motion animation themselves in the V&As digital studio. Barnaby Barford works with ceramics to create unique narrative pieces. Although an accomplished craftsman, Barford primarily selects found objects, taking both mass-manufactured and antique figurines and turning them into sinister, sardonic but invariably humorous sculptures.
We Are Not Amused
Visitors can join the V&As Ceramics Resident, Stephen Dixon, in creating a large ceramic mosaic of Queen Victoria entitled We Are Not Amused. Visitors are invited to bring along their own broken ceramics to place on the mosaic and contribute to the finished work.
Edmund de Waal in conversation
Edmund de Waal, one of the UKs foremost contemporary ceramicists and professor of ceramics at the University of Westminster, will be discussing the nature of contemporary ceramics and design with Michelle Ogundehin, Editor-in-Chief of Elle Decoration. Edmund de Waal has created a new commission, funded by The Art Fund, for the V&As new Ceramics Galleries.
Friday 18 September, 19.00 20.00; Tickets: (£8, concessions available)