Common Ware is a project of ceramic multiples made by Common Clay members, artist residents and associates, with the addition of a sound work that interacts with the objects during an exhibition at PEER. The Hastings-based studio project Common Clay, is a ceramics space offering an open-access membership for artists working on their own projects, along with a programme of community workshops, beginners classes, social events, exhibitions and artist residencies. The studio encourages a mix of artists and makers to exchange skills, experience and dialogue in a shared, cooperative environment. In the studio we have sculptors, potters, teachers, film makers, illustrators, carers, council workers and learners. Membership and ceramic sessions are sometimes paid through skill swap and trading services; for example people have paid with childcare, sign writing, yoga, hairdressing and artworks. This alternative currency promotes trust and friendship in the studio, whilst giving flexibility and openness to the structure.
Nine artists have been invited to each make 15 ceramic multiple artworks responding to the idea of common ware: ceramic objects made for everyday use. Traditionally common ware is unglazed, undecorated, gritty clay pots, but for this project the artists have been asked to think more about the usefulness of everyday self-care and mindfulness, and how this might translate into a ceramic object. This might take the form of a functional object or it might be a symbolic representation of their own self-care. The making of ceramics, working with clay, moulding an object with our hands is widely understood to have a therapeutic quality, the artists will explore this and how clay affects them in their working practice. The artworks, which will be packed into custom made boxes, will be exchanged between the artists as a gesture of communal making and sharing, an extension of the Common Clay studio project. The remaining boxes will be for sale to help fund the project.