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a ceramic exhibition by Paul de Jongh, Nina Shand and Bruno de Robillard

This year McGregor Festival of Poetry has as its theme “The Sound of Water”. While this theme lends itself to the spoken word, it has been more difficult to achieve in a clay medium. We chose to interpret the theme through producing a range of highly collectable, limited edition plates on the theme of “Water”.

The plates, available in various sizes, were all hand-thrown on the potter’s wheel by Paul or formed from a slab by Nina. Bruno has selected some evocative images, mostly Fish or Lotus Flowers, which he has carved onto the plates. To these images, he has also added lines of poetry (by the 13th Century Persian Poet, Rumi) on the water theme. The carvings have then been inlaid with blue clay slip, made from cobalt oxide. The plates are made from high-firing porcelain clay creating distinctive, yet traditional, blue and white decoration.

These unique plates offer the user a chance to enjoy their meal off a bespoke artwork, as well as to enjoy the aesthetic appeal of the vessel as a stand-alone item. Plates were chosen as the medium to make everyday functional items into art pieces, not just creating a décor item but décor that demands to be used. In this case, the user not only gets good value and use but is also reimbursed in spirit.

The exhibition is made up of items decorated using an age-old technique and putting modern spin on it. The technique is known as “Sgraffito”. Sgraffito (Italian for “to scratch”) is a decorating pottery technique produced by applying a layer of colour to leather hard pottery and then scratching off parts of the layer to create contrasting images, patterns and texture that reveal the clay color underneath.

Paul de Jongh and Nina Shand have been making pottery in McGregor for over 20 years from their Studio and Gallery at Millstone Pottery, 1 Bree Street. Bruno de Robillard is an architect and wanna-be clay artist.

A selection of home-made soups and bread will be served at the Pottery daily from 12 to 6pm. Vegan-friendly option available.

Opening hours: Free entry 09:00 to 18:00 daily

Venue: Millstone Pottery