Ceramics - Episode Three: A Fragile History

Stoneware vase, Bernard Leach, c.1931. Museum no. CIRC.144-1931. © V&A Images

Stoneware vase, Bernard Leach, c.1931. Museum no. CIRC.144-1931. © V&A Images

First broadcast: BBC Four 24 October 2011

Studio pottery has become a great British triumph in the story of modern art, but it took an industrial revolution and two world wars to really start breaking the boundaries between art and craft.

The final episode from the series explores the story of pottery from the mass-produced ceramics of the Industrial Revolution through to the imaginative and provocative ceramics of today.  From the Arts and Crafts movement, spearheaded by William Morris, to the rebirth of handmade pots by Bernard Leach, to the sculptural ceramics of Hans Coper and the site-sensitive work of Edmund de Waal, handmade pottery has accelerated rapidly over the past 100 years planting itself firmly at the heart of the British art world.

Drawing on the expertise and comments of contributors including Grayson Perry and Edmund de Waal and reviving archive interviews with studio potters Bernard Leach and Lucie Rie, this programme uncovers a whole host of revolutionary artist potters.

For more information visit the BBC Four website

Click on a selection of objects featured in the programme to view more details

Tobacco jar, Robert Wallace Martin, 1887. Museum no. C.1151&A-1917
Cider jar, Michael Cardew, 1938. Museum no. CIRC.319-1938
Bowl, Nicholas Vergette, 1954. Museum no. CIRC.278-1954
Bowl, Lucie Rie, 1955. Museum no. CIRC.336-1955
Vase, Hans Coper, 1958. Museum no. CIRC.154-1958
Dish, William Frend De Morgan, around 1885. Museum no. C.1276-1917
Signs & Wonders, Edmund de Waal, 2009. Museum no. C.277-2009
Tankard, Bernard Leach, 1949. Museum no. CIRC.176-1950

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