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Form - 'Octopus Junk'

'Octopus Junk'

  • Object:

    Form

  • Place of origin:

    Yorktown (made)

  • Date:

    2008 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Erickson, Michelle, born 1960 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Porcelain, indigenous clays and copper clay, with thrown, hand-modelled, slip-cast and press-moulded elements, and painting in underglaze pigments.

  • Credit Line:

    Lent by the Chipstone Foundation

  • Museum number:

    LOAN:CHIPSTONE.1-2009

  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 145, case 40

Michelle Erickson produces highly-acclaimed recreations of 17th- and 18th-century pots for display and use at American and Canadian museums and other organisations as well as for use on filmsets. She bases her work on her study of ceramics found in excavations and in public and private collections. She also uses her knowledge of historic ceramics to make contemporary studio ceramic sculpture, examples of which are in museums and institutions in America and the UK and have featured in American and international publications.

'Octopus Junk' is a contemporary piece inspired by finds excavated from Chinese junks which had sunk in the process of exporting Chinese porcelain to the western world. Excavated porcelain has sometimes been changed by years at the bottom of the sea, becoming fused with other porcelain pieces as well as natural objects into so-called 'sea sculptures' and it is these which have inspired Michelle Erickson's work.

Physical description

Form or artwork consisting of a black 18th-century style teapot and lid to which are fixed, in the manner of barnacles fused to a shipwrecked find, imitation underglaze blue Chinese porcelain teawares, oyster shells and on the lid a ceramic octopus.

Place of Origin

Yorktown (made)

Date

2008 (made)

Artist/maker

Erickson, Michelle, born 1960 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Porcelain, indigenous clays and copper clay, with thrown, hand-modelled, slip-cast and press-moulded elements, and painting in underglaze pigments.

Dimensions

Height: 37 cm overall about, Width: 19 cm maximum

Descriptive line

'Octopus Junk', teapot in two parts, porcelain, indigenous clays and copper clay, with thrown, hand-modelled, slip-cast and press-moulded elements and painting in underglaze pigments. Michelle Erickson, Virginia, U.S.A., 2008

Labels and date

'Octopus Junk'
USA, Yorktown (Virginia), 2008, Michelle Erickson
Porcelain and other clays, with hand-modelled, slip-cast and press-moulded elements, and painting in underglaze pigments
Michelle Erickson (born 1960) recreates historic ceramic techniques and uses them to make contemporary sculpture. This piece is inspired by shipwreck finds in which multiple objects have fused together at the bottom of the ocean. Such shipwrecked cargoes are one way that historians learn about the history of ceramic trade.
Lent by the Chipstone Foundation
[2008-2009]

Subjects depicted

Octopus; Teapot; Shells

Categories

Studio Pottery; Ceramics

Collection

Ceramics Collection

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