Angus Henderson is the artist responsible for the Gathering Bowl. [why ceramics] This bowl was created by Angus Henderson slowly over the course of lockdown evenings, with the daily rhythms of the artist; work, rest and practice, forming an intrinsic aspect of the process. Inherently domestic, this work is conceived as a gathering bowl, created out of a nostalgia for social gathering.
Why did you put yourself forward for the open call?
I’ve never exhibited my ceramics before, I took it up a couple of years ago and have been slowly developing my craft, but it’s been sporadic or opportunistic, squeezed in between other areas of my life. Over lockdown, I had the time and space to think through and develop some ideas that I wouldn’t have been able to without government-mandated introvert time. When my pieces came out of the kiln I was genuinely happy with them, which is a novel feeling for me, so when I walked past the Paulin shop with the advert in the window soon after I thought I’d give it a punt, and see if there was a place for the things I was making.
Tell me about this particular piece.
This bowl is made of two different clays, mixed in varying ways to create different effects. The bowl is pinched out at the bottom. You basically start with a wee ball of clay in your hand and roughly form a small bowl, and then layers of coils and slabs are added. As the bowl grows it becomes heavier and messier until you have the full size of it and it looks distinctly poor. However, as the clay dries, you can scrape away the top layers to find this lovely, almost geological strata. However, the temptation to go thinner and thinner is dangerous, and in some of my other pieces it took over. Thankfully this one survived.
Heidegger talks about a certain kind of thing, as distinct from an object, a thing that is defined by its quality to gather, both things into itself as well as people to it. This bowl was conceived of as one that gathers.
Is this the kind of work you usually do?
I tend to focus on wheel-thrown ceramics, quite simple, quite domestic. I’m still muddling through my influences, from ancient Cretan pottery through to industrial structures. My field or reference is generally quite architectural as I’m studying a master’s degree in architecture presently.
How do you connect to Paulin as a member of the Scottish creative community?
I think there are two strands I see in Paulin products, which I think are really interesting in relation to creative practice in Scotland. The first is this relation to the industrial heritage of Glasgow and the West generally, and the aesthetic potential of utilitarianism when handled with real care and material consideration. The other is this word, gallus, which is a Scottish colloquialism, meaning a boldness, but with a certain cheek or ostentation which is particularly Scottish - there’s a certain humility to it. That’s what I see anyway, and what I take away from it.
To see the Gathering Bowl for yourself, have a peek inside our Edinburgh store!
You can find Angus Henderson on Instagram at instagram.com/angus.m.m.henderson.
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