Gestures for Marguerite (pocket)

Robyn Phelan

hand formed earthenware clay with terra sigillata, reclaimed De Jour denim jeans, reclaimed, twined t-shirt, 2023

h. 50 w. 15 d. 7 cm

Featured in the exhibition Let the Sunshine In curated by Sara Lindsay at Five Walls, 2024


Gestures for Marguerite is a tribute to Bauhaus trained potter Marguerite Wildenhain (1896–1985). A fiercely independent educator, she established Pond Farm in California where she taught for thirty years. I imagine these summers through a golden yellow lens, seeing denim clad students as they gather to absorb her demanding instruction.

The materials of clay and denim reference historic images of the Pond Farm studio but steps aside from making utilitarian pottery. I am concerned with how materials are affected by an embodied making process. My marks of making remain evident across the ceramic surface and in the labour required to reclaim well-loved but worn-out family clothing.