‘Things seen, sometimes personal’ work by Andrew Guest

On display at the Art and Design Library, until 31 July.Poster image

Andrew Guest writes:

I started making ceramics in 2004 while working in Newcastle, where I attended classes at the wonderful pottery studio at Bensham. After moving back to Edinburgh in 2009 I used the workshop at the South Bridge Centre run by the Pottery Users Group (PUG) but I now mainly work from a studio at home.

My first exhibition, ‘Signs of the Times’, was held in the Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne in February 2014. It consisted of 21 plates celebrating language used for announcements in the media and on the streets, and the mysterious language of the TLA (Three Letter Abbreviation) used as shorthand in contexts such as finding a friend, fighting a war, or as the coded private language of many professions or bureaucracies.

This exhibition has an expanded series of plates celebrating language but also a series of vases and one work consisting of 32 separate pots. The plates are formed on plaster moulds, cast from a Mason plate of about 1890, and a Spode plate of about 1850. The letters are then inlaid with liquid clay. The vases are made from slabs of clay, into which dried stems of plants have been rolled, and the subsequent indentation filled with liquid clay. The image is revealed when the excess clay is scraped back before the slab hardens. The pots are built from casts of the blister packs of every pill I have used in the past 3 years or so.

The starting-point for all the work is an appreciation of the ordinary, or a fascination with a waste product, whether in human language, the natural beauty of the dried stem of a plant, or the spent casing of a highly industrialised medicine, where each shape has been made by the fingers of the person as they push the required medicine from its packaging.

The plates and vases are made from white or red earthenware clay, with different coloured clay slips, and a transparent glaze. The pots are made from a white earthenware casting slip, and a tin white glaze.

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