Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox every week.      
The Kid Should See This

Ceramic artist Michelle Erickson recreates an 18th-century agateware teapot

Recreating an 18th century artifact is a painstaking process that requires mastery of the medium, an understanding of esoteric artisanal methods, and lots of examination and experimentation. During her 2012 artist residency at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, ceramic artist and scholar Michelle Erickson took on that challenge.

Having spent much of her career studying 17th- and 18th-century pottery techniques, Erickson was able to deftly reproduce a Staffordshire agateware teapot, made around 1740-1760, from the V&A’s collection. It wasn’t easy, primarily because the original techniques are not well documented. She explains in The American Ceramics Society: “The replication of the processes presented here required nearly two years of trial and error research.”

Agateware isn’t made from agate but from colored clays that are layered, coiled, sliced, assembled, flattened, and press-molded to create and maintain their marbelized patterns. Erickson painstakingly demonstrates each step of the reproduction in the V&A video above.

Related reading: Swirls and Whirls: English Agateware Technology. Also: Japanese Neriage.

Related videos: Remaking an ancient glass fish at the Corning Museum of Glass, The Art of Carving, and A Continuous Shape: Stonecarver Anna Rubincam creates a portrait. Plus: More clay videos.

🌈 Related videos

Installing massive statues with engineering and care at the Met

Rion Nakaya

Building a True-to-Life Butterfly for a Habitat Diorama – AMNH

Rion Nakaya

In Search of Forgotten Colours – Sachio Yoshioka and the Art of Natural Dyeing

Rion Nakaya

Motoi Yamamoto’s intricate, temporary salt installations

Rion Nakaya

Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle Restoration at MSI Chicago

Rion Nakaya

Making aloe plants for the hyena diorama at The Field Museum

Rion Nakaya

The Conservation of The Assassination of Archimedes

Rion Nakaya

Two professors sculpt each other in less than ten minutes

Rion Nakaya

The Exhale Bionic Chandelier: Microorganism-filled ‘leaves’ that ‘breathe’

Rion Nakaya

Get 7 smart videos delivered every week.

 

Subscribe