Ceramic pots and vessels certainly have a class of their own. Taking this art to another level is Anna Whitehouse, a UK-based ceramic artist. She’s not only a master ceramist but is also up for any challenge in her chosen field.
On January 1, 2018, she set up a difficult goal for herself – creating a differently-designed white ceramic bottle of a single form every day for 100 days. This challenge meant stretching her creativity in formulating new designs.
That Anna measured up to this challenge is a foregone conclusion, but it wasn’t easy in any way. She not only fabricated a white ceramic bottle in a uniform shape each day but also designed it differently than the rest. In some bottles, she added repetitive holes, while in others floral motifs and many such variations.
Says Anna, “I tried pressing and scraping any tool I could get my hands on into the clay. From my standard clay tools to pen lids, tweezers, scissors and even a string of beads! I also started making my own tools from bits of broken pen, wire and aluminium to create particular marks.”
Anna’s 100-day-long exercise was akin to filling a 100-page sketchbook. For her, each bottle she created was like a brand-new sketch in her sketchbook. This also gave a clue to what she’d make the next day. Says she, “I’ve kept the work unglazed, like white pages from a sketchbook, highlighting the mark making through the contrast created by shadows.”
For the benefit of her viewers and for easy reference, Anna also created a ‘clay calendar’ that can be browsed on her website. The outlines of each bottle created since January 1, 2018 figures in this interactive portfolio. To make the entry more interesting, she has also inserted unique captions that describe something that happened the day she made that particular bottle.
This certainly is a unique attempt by an exceptional ceramist!