• The Turnpike Pottery

Urara Tsuchiya - The Potter’s Wheel and filling pots with little creatures

Urara Tsuchiya, born in 1979 in Japan, works mainly with performance, video, and live events, sometimes incorporating soft sculpture, costumes and ceramics. Although her work includes mainly humans, Tsuchiya also incorporates animals which may relate to spirit animals, a subject matter looked at by the young people on this project.

Within this workshop Tsuchiya demonstrated how to use a pottery spinning wheel, which a large majority of young people had never used before. Previiously the group had worked with Lindsey to make food-inspired artwork, which will be displayed in the exhibition on a large banquet table. As bowls would usually go on a food banquet, this workshop fitted with the presentation of the work produced already as the food banquet created by the young people before was missing bowls. The young people responded well to the pottery spinning wheel and explained that they would like to use it again in the future.

As the young people had mainly used clay with their hands and small tools, the spinning wheel was a development of their work as it introduced them to a larger scale pottery tool and gave them a clear idea of the process of pottery making. Although the clay extruder was another tool the young people have discovered, this equipment was necessary for the beginning of the making. Whereas, the spinning wheel was for the making part alone.

Lindsey put clay slugs inside her bowl as she does ‘hate them’ yet makes them a lot as they still show her personality even if it’s something she doesn’t like. Bowls and food being closely related, putting animals in the bowls is very different. The group explored other creatures and ways of 'distorting' their bowls through these additions.

Words by Saffron Ramsey and Hannah Gaunt