- Museum number
Dish, red brick, 'Shelf Edge Dish', an angular 'hanging' dish, built from four flat polygonal slabs or plates made up of brick tiles cut in long rectangular strips of various sizes, each strip ground for accuracy and then glued together; the upper surface of each slab sprayed with layers of yellow then blue slip, producing a greenish effect, the angular sides arranged so that one side 'hangs' over the edge of a flat surface. The four slabs fired after the slip has been applied, and then glued together. Unmarked.
- Production date
Height: 14.50 centimetres
Length: 37 centimetres
Width: 33 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- For full discussion of Martin Smith's ceramics, see exhibition catalogue, 'Martin Smith, Balance and Space, Ceramics 1976-1996', Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam 1996 (with essay by Alison Britton).
This dish was designed to occupy the junction of a horizontal and vertical surface. Here Martin Smith uses a product made by others, rough red brick. He began by making a model in MDF. He then cut the brick into carefully measured strips which he then assembled, first into four separate slabs or plates, and these were then glued together to form the final piece. To make the plates, the bricks were sawn into long strips which were then worked by hand to ensure that each edge was at right-angles, with a glass plate using aluminium oxide and water as an abrasive paste so that the strips were ground on the paste against the glass. Once the plates were made, two layers of coloured slip were sprayed onto the top surface, yellow and then blue.The four separate plates were then fired to fix the slip, but the glue disappears in the firing and so when the kiln is unpacked, the plates are all in strips again amd have to be re-glued back together. Fine paper abrasive is then used to cut through the slip to reveal the different colours. The plates were all made oversize so that they can be cut accuratelty after firing; the edges are trimmed, the corners mitred and lapped by hand to get the angles precise. Finally the four plates can be glued together. This dish is one of three made to hang over an edge. A further three were made with no overhang.
Martin Smith wrote about this group in 1985 to the Crafts Council in London: 'All current work makes use of prefired ceramic, in the form of bricks, to machine component parts, from which pieces are assembled, using epoxy adhesives. The concerns are still an exploration of architectural space within the formal limitations of the vessel - in the recent pieces this has been a dish form.' (quoted in Rotterdam 1996, p. 68).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
Rotterdam 1996: 'Martin Smith, Balance and Space, Ceramics 1976-1996', Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, p. 71
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number