“It seems to me that television is exactly like a gun. Your enjoyment of it is determined by which end of it you’re on.”
― Alfred Hitchcock
I first encountered ‘Gun to Goods’ in about 2008 when the idea was newly conceived. Paul Haywood, then senior lecturer at Salford University, started this presentation of this new idea with, ‘I need creativity on this people or we’ll end up with another bloody set of peace gates’.
Ok, those might not be the exact words but the sentiment was blatant. To fashion guns collected during amnesties into new, useful, practical, commemorative or beautiful objects without reverting to unimaginative or corporate solutions.
Virtually a decade later I’m absolutely delighted to have seen this mission develop into a wide ranging, ongoing and fascinating project with multiple outcomes and have thoroughly enjoyed the development and making of my objects.
As a fine artist working with clay I tend to defy the precedents of the potter making functional pieces.
My contribution for ‘Guns to goods’ takes the conventions of the ceramic vessel and questions its ability to function. Each piece is hand thrown and finished in the traditional way using a potters’ wheel. I have used a limited palette of materials; A gorgeous, heavy, specialist stoneware clay, manganese dioxide, leather and of course, the gun metal in its post-foundry incarnation.
These objects are loaded, not with drinks or food, nor with ammunition, but with meaning and the legacy of possible damage and devastation. Some of the pieces have the gun metal fired into place and some are added post firing. I have been deliberately playful with technique and process making a collection of unique pieces.