Artist David Mach is appealing for broken pieces of pottery with a story behind them. He is asking people to send the fragments to help create a new artwork for St Austell, Cornwall.
Ceramic memories might include the handle of a cup that was bought on honeymoon 35 years ago, a shard of a decorated plate found on the beach, or part of a favourite mug that got broken and just couldn’t be thrown away.
During lockdown, while many people are digging the garden or investigating the contents of drawers as part of a spring clean, they are encouraged to collect any pottery pieces they find so that they can be part of the newceramic collage.
The artist will use thousands of fragments to create a major new public artwork, ‘Earthly Delights’, which is part of a programme of new commissions by The Whitegold Project.
David Mach said:
“China clay was exported to make pottery, and connects St Austell with the rest of the world. This new artwork will celebrate that far-reaching impact of the Cornish China Clay industry.
“I’m asking people to send me pieces of pottery with a story to tell. We’ve all got something at the back of a drawer – the broken fragment of something that we couldn’t throw away because of the special memory it carried. I want to hear that story – was it a piece of a broken thimble your mother used to use, a spout from a beloved teapot, a piece of a commemorative plate you bought in holiday….”.
Over many years, David Mach collected thousands of pieces of pottery on his local beach in Methil, Fife. The fragments were made with the same clay that is sent around the world from Cornwall. The artist wants to use donated pieces to make his installation, and to extend that connection. The commission will be almost 20 metres wide and will decorate a wall in St Austell.
Whitegold Project curator Alex Murdin said:
“This is a wonderful way to involve everyone in creating this impressive new work of art for a public space that tells the intimate histories of china clay. We’re hoping that people from St Austell and further afield will send pieces of ceramic and share their special stories to help create something that connects St Austell and Cornwall’s heritage with places around the world”
Donated ceramic pieces might include a fragment of an old treasured possession, or something found in the back garden whilst digging during lockdown. They could be a small fragment the size of a postage stamp or a larger, whole piece.
Contributions, along with any stories behind them, should be posted to:
Earthly Delights, St Austell BID Office, Burton House, Trinity Street, St. Austell, PL25 5LS. The risk of viral transmission through the post is minimal, but it is still important to follow hand hygiene procedures when sending mail. Those sending donations are asked to: follow Public Health England guidance and wash their hands thoroughly when preparing post, where possible to send a package which can go through a letterbox, to purchase Royal Mail postage online and to maintain social distancing if visiting post offices.