Bangor Rotary recently welcomed local potter Peter Meanley to the Club.
Originally from Yorkshire, Peter has lived and worked in Northern Ireland for many years as both petter and Lecturer.
Peter told Rotarians, “My extensive collection of historical ceramics numbering many hundreds has been a source of inspiration for me for many years. Whilst in the past my work has mainly been of teapots or indeed things that can pour, the last few years has seen a change.
Peter Meanley has won international acclaim for his abstract spouted pouring vessels and his mastery of the salt glazing technique. Formerly Head of Ceramics at the University of Ulster in Belfast, Peter has been awarded a PhD for researching salt glazing in 1999 – a process which involves throwing salt into a kiln, whilst it is fired at high temperature, resulting in a characteristic ‘orange-peel’ pitted surface.
Peter’s work initially consisted of strikingly engineered teapots and other functional forms. In time, his focus and never tiring curiosity for the world around him and its possibilities led him to make new forms that can ‘contain liquid’ and can be used to pour from. His fascination with these new forms and his continuous exploration of the salt-fired process yielded the compelling spouted pouring vessels which form the core of this exhibition.
Peter introduced us to the idea of a ‘Puzzle Jug’. A technically complex piece, the puzzle jug has a perforated collar, making it impossible to pour from, unless the drinker knows there is a hole, or number of holes, which they must cover with their fingers, to allow the liquid to flow without spilling. The puzzle jugs were Peter’s lockdown project which he found inspiration for in the early medieval puzzle jugs which served not so much as a drinking tool but as a drinking game.
Peter also told us the story of how he was commissioned to create a Toby Jug of the Antique Roadshow’s Henry Sandon