Eduardo Paolozzi: Collaging CultureEduardo Paolozzi: Collaging Culture

Paolozzi and Ceramics

Paolozzi once stated that 'as an artist it is sometimes difficult to draw a line between 'art' and 'craft.' Despite being best-known as a sculptor in 1968 Paolozzi was appointed visiting tutor in the Ceramics Department of the Royal College of Art, a post which he held until 1989 when he was appointed Visiting Professor. He had not been trained as a potter and so his approach to teaching ceramics was to encourage his students to develop the ideas that underpinned their work, rather than concentrating on purely technical concerns.  He taught many of the most significant potters and ceramic artists of the last 40 years, including Glenys Barton, Magdelene Odundo, Stephen Dixon and Carol McNichol.

Paolozzi designed several ceramic ranges for companies such as Wedgwood Ltd. and the German manufacturer Rosenthal. For the 'Variations on a Geometric Theme' a dinner service of plates he used his collage approach to design geometric patterns that could be printed mechanically onto the bone china plates, rather than the traditional approach to painting by hand. The process of casting objects in plaster, which he frequently employed in later years, was a significant outcome of his understanding of ceramic casting methods.