Earth Day

Earth Day 2018 is April 22nd and the focus will be on environmental issues that the world faces. The special day was proposed in 1969 to honor the earth and the concept of peace on the first day of spring. Earth Day was first celebrated in the US on April 22nd, 1970 as an environmental teach-in. In 2018, Earth Day is dedicated to ending plastic pollution. At WMODA, we advocate going green with ceramics for daily use. China mugs are made of the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water and, as they are durable and reusable, they can be considered more eco-friendly than plastics.

Humans have been creating vessels of clay for time immemorial. The material, which is derived directly from the earth,  is practical, beautiful and durable and when their use is over, pottery and porcelain cups can be recycled.

Although considerable energy is required to fire the kilns, many ceramicists are now using heat recovery systems which are being used as hot water provision and warm environments for heat-loving crops. Historically, some glazes have incorporated harmful chemicals, notably lead, which are harmful to the environment. Toxic ingredients have now been phased out by most countries, making ceramic products more benign to the environment than plastic.

The durability of ceramic cups and dishes ensures that they are not tossed out after one use and they can be handed down through the generations as with vintage and antique ceramics. The collection at WMODA, which dates back to the 18th century, is a testament to the durability and aesthetics of ceramics used for art. As can be seen in the exhibits, an infinite variety of shape, form, and texture occurs when clay is transformed by human creativity.

Recycling ceramic artifacts is also being explored as an art form by some contemporary artists, such as the playful sculptures of Miami based Argentinian artist Pablo Dona. He incorporates Royal Albert tea china into his whimsical art, inspired by his childhood. Scottish artist Jessica Harrison plays on classic porcelain figurines and alters the ‘skin’ of her appropriated subjects with tattoos, textures and new glaze effects.