Why make pots today?

Julian Stair (University of Westminster)

I will argue that making pottery today is still a relevant artistic discipline despite its longevity and age-old technologies. The multi-layering of the optic with the haptic, the material with the conceptual, alongside pottery’s formal and symbolic capacities, offer endless scope for reflection on contemporary life. From pots for food and drink to vessels to hold the body in death, the visceral and anthropomorphic nature of pottery makes it an art form grounded within a social locus, and one that has the potential to satisfy our cerebral needs while reminding us we are physical beings living in a material world.