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 stiff viscous earth found, in many varieties, in beds or other deposits near the surface of the ground and at various depths below it: it forms with water a tenacious paste capable of being moulded into any shape, which hardens when dried, and forms the material of bricks, tiles, pottery, and ‘earthenware’ generally.

Oxford English Dictionary

Watch this space for a news on the Materials foyer, which will feature brand new work from some of our current MA Fine Art, BA Historic Carving, BA Conservation students; and Artist Woodwork and Decorative Surfaces Fellows. It will also feature alumni and staff work, and archive material exposing the Art School’s long history with clay.

We’ll have news of our MA Art & Material Histories students’ experiments with clay; workshops and other events as part of this year’s London Craft Week; and insights from our own clay specialists Kim Amis, Nina Bilbey, Tamiko O’Brien, Marina Sokhan, and Elaine Wilson.

An ARLIS/UK & Ireland Research Award funded project will investigate the Art School’s historic creative collaboration with the neighbouring Royal Doulton pottery in the 19th century. Research at the London Metropolitan Archives and Stoke-on-Trent City Archives will explore the symbiosis between arts education and industry in the Victorian era, and gendered activities in both the studio and the workplace.

Keep an eye on the website and Instagram for updates, and let us know if you’re a CGLAS student or alumnus working with clay and would like to be featured on the website or in the Material Matters programme.

Figure modelling class, from the Art School’s archives
Head modelling class at the Art School, 2015