Subversive Ceramics

Author(s): Claudia Clare

Fine Arts

Satire has been used in ceramic production for centuries. Historically, it occurred as a slogan or proverb written into the ceramic surface; as pictorial surface imagery; or as a satirical figurine. The use of satire in contemporary ceramics is a rapidly evolving trend, with many artists subverting or otherwise rethinking familiar historic forms to make a political point. Claudia Clare examines the relationship between ceramics, social politics, and political movements and the way both organisations and individual artists have used pots - predominantly domestic objects - to agitate among the masses or simply express their ideas. Ninety colour illustrations of various subversive, satirical and campaigning works illustrate her arguments and enliven debate. Claudia Clare explores work by artists from twenty-one different countries, from 500 BC to the present day. These range range from the French artist Honore Daumier and the enslaved African-American potter David Drake to contemporary artists including Lubaina Himid, Virgil Ortiz and Shlomit Bauman, whose work and the means of its production has addressed or commented upon issues such as disputed homelands, identify, race, gender and colonialism.


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Looking at satire and subversion within ceramics.

Claudia Clare is a ceramicist and writer based in London, UK. She contributes regularly to Ceramic Review and was a co-author, with Edmund de Waal, of The Pot Book (2011).

Introduction Part One: Subversion and Satire: definitions and history 1. Vice and Folly: defining subversion and satire 2. Objection: a history of protest Part Two: Breaking Out: the influence of political and social movements on the studio potter and ceramicist 3. The Peasant's Revolt: form and message 4. Emancipation: new methods of production 5. The Campaigning Trail: hidden histories and protest Conclusion Bibliography Index

General Fields

  • : 9781472528544
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Bloomsbury Academic
  • : January 2016
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Claudia Clare
  • : Hardback
  • : 160