Ceramic Commissions

Earthly Delights, David Mach

One of Britain’s best-known contemporary artists, David Mach, has been commissioned to make a new work for the centre of St Austell.

Composed of hundreds of fragments, broken pieces of vase, parts of teapots, segments of teacups, plates, saucers, and everything ceramic, donated by members of the public, Mach’s commission, entitled ‘ Earthly Delights ‘ was installed in the spring of 2022.

The idea comes from picking up 1000’s of pieces of pottery on his local beach in Scotland, all made with the same clay that comes out of Cornwall. Collecting fragment on the beach is a common thing to do in the UK and an activity that binds and connects us. We walk our beaches. We pick up these small pieces, remnants of whole objects all designed, patterned and illustrated in a wide variety of colours and shapes, sizes and styles. Mach will use these to make his installation and to extend that connection.

A hand from a damaged figurine, the lettering from a salt cellar, the spout of a teapot, the handle of a cup. A small thing you haven’t let go of yet. A holiday souvenir, a wedding gift, a commemorative plate. The wall will stand as a kind of monument to St Austell but not just to the town. It’ll celebrate the far-reaching impact of the Cornish China Clay industry, its history and how that goes out into the UK, into Europe and indeed out into the world.”


We were lucky to have a few minutes of David’s time to talk to him about the project, how it was conceived and designed and what it will look like when completed. Find out more in the film below.

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