- Museum number
Bowl, red earthenware, a cut bowl form, made up of three press-moulded curved segments, the two flanking segments curving inwards, the interior with dark blue-green brush painting in underglaze colour, the exterior unglazed and polished. Each segment gound to shape after cutting with a saw, and glued with epoxy resin. Unmarked.
- Production date
Height: 27 centimetres
Length: 35 centimetres
Width: 30.50 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).
In 1985, Smith abandoned his architectural works and turned to pieces made up of spherical segments. A full size plaster maquette was used to define the exact sections of the sphere; the coordinates were then plotted onto hemispheres produced in clay using the industrial process of 'jigger and jolly' (Rotterdam 1996, p. 75). This bowl is one of a series, all of which started life as the deconstruction of a sphere. Smith made hemispheres of plaster to saw into pieces and experiment with. He then made ceramic hemispheres, the jigger and jolly process enabling him to achieve an even cross-section. [Jollying refers to the process of making ware inside a revolving mould so that the mould shapes the exterior and the profile tool makes the interior; jiggering reverses the process so that the interior of the piece is formed over the mould. A jigger and jolly machine can do either.]
The ceramic hemispheres were dried to leatherhard, then marked out. This was done by taking a papier-maché pattern off sections of plaster, securing them in the desired form, and then placing these 3D patterns onto the hemispheres. Once the sections were cut out roughly with a wood saw, they were fired, the surfaces polished and the edge ground with diamond abrasives by hand lapping (rubbing in abrasive) so that they fitted precisely. The blue and black glazes were applied and then partly removed so that the red body shows through, with a second firing to fix the glaze, the vessel still in three segments. Further refiring can be necessary at this point, before the peiecs are glued with epoxy resin. The edges are ground again after final assembly and a final refiring takes place.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
Rotterdam 1996: 'Martin Smith, Balance and Space, Ceramics 1976-1996', Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, p. 80
Cambridge 1991: 'Lucie, Hans Coper and their Pupils', Fitzwilliam Museum, cat. 106
Norwich 1990: 'Lucie, Hans Coper and their Pupils', Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia, cat. 106
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number