Coming soon: Clay symposium 2021

We are pleased to announce that our second Material Matters symposium will take place online in October 2021, with support from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. This year’s programme will feature artists, craftspeople, art historians and other experts concerned with clay. A full list of speakers will be released here and […]

The Matter of Materials in Zhanna Kadyrova’s installation ‘Second Hand, Venice Biennale, 2019’

Postgraduate student Roberta De Caro has researched the work of contemporary artist Zhanna Kadyrova through the lens of materiality, applying the investigative methods developed during the MA Art & Material Histories course. The resulting work is an essay titled ‘The matter of materials in Zhanna Kadyrova’s installation Second Hand, Venice Biennale, 2019′.  De Caro examines Kadyrova’s work, […]

Processing clay from the garden

BA Fine Art alumna Emilie Fitzgerald talks about her recent adventures digging and processing clay from her garden. After graduating from the Art School in 2019, I moved in to my family home in East Sussex. Aptly named Old Pottery Cottage, it is located close to the site of the Dicker Pottery (active mid-19th to […]

Clay in the Art School, 1881

To celebrate this year’s International Archives Week (8-14 June 2020), we are showcasing some archive material relating to our current material of choice: clay. Some recent digging in the Art School’s archives, held at London Metropolitan Archives as part of the City & Guilds of London Institute collection, uncovered some historic programmes dating back to […]

Lockdown Clay Project

MA Art & Material Histories student Ellie Arden presents her work from the Material Matters unit of the course: the Lockdown Clay Project, with collaboration as a crucial aspect of the project brief. Visit @thelockdownclayproject on Instagram for more insight into the themes of each week and photographs of the sessions.  “The thing is,” Josh said […]

Torso modelling

Last week we saw what the first year BA Historic Carving students had been up to in their home studios, this week it’s the turn of second year stone carvers, who have also been working with Kim Amis, this time on an intensive three week Torso modelling project. Students began by making preparatory drawings in […]

Laura White: Clay wall

Multidisciplinary artist and visiting lecturer for MA Art and Material Histories Laura White writes about her recent material exploration during lockdown: Clay Wall. For more on Laura’s Material Engagements go to and to see more of her work and writings, including clay based works such as Crushing, Pushing, Breaking go to I am […]

Modelling ministers in lockdown

During the first weeks of the summer term in lockdown, our first year BA Historic Carving students have been working away in their home studios, with portrait modelling guru Kim Amis leading sessions on Zoom. They had been timetabled to model in clay their first life-size portrait head, using a life model every day in […]

Material Matters: Clay 2020-21

We are pleased to announce that our next material in focus for 2020-21 is clay. London clay, china clay, terracotta, porcelain, earthenware, stoneware, buff; bisque fired, leather hard, bone dry; bricks, grog and glazes, slips and slabs; kidneys, loops, knives, and wheels; digging, firing, wedging, kneading, extruding, pugging, pinching, coiling, building, throwing… clay, n. A […]