Working with potter Rob Bibby

One of the outcomes of my work for the ‘Who’s Culture?’ commission [see more info here] for the Peterborough Cultural Strategy Group is this giant [shown unfinished] slipware multi handled vessel. Made in collaboration with the potter Rob Bibby, it stands at over 14 inches high. Rob threw the main pot, I attached 24 handles, before he adding his trade mark thumb print and 3 strikes and then to complete I scratched words into its surface. It’s made of terracotta with white earthenware slip and handles. It will be clear glazed and completed with the addition of giant cork stopper.

I didnt know Rob until this project unearthed him and its been a joy spending time with him in his ex-chapel workshop. Together we have experimented, talked of radical art education, making and what this piece means.

I propose the piece is a summary of the ecology and values of the place and people I’ve met – understood in material form. It needs a community to lift and manoeuvre it and, like the tools and architectures Ive drawn before, it’s not fully alive until used. As a metaphor we could see it being of and about the earth and those who work that ground. It references funerary vessels, loving cups and water carriers, yet is a contemporary – it holds the past and the present in balance.

Together with an invitation to gather and a catalogue, this pot, will be shared publicly on July 1st, before featuring on the CSG website.