Clay Planet shows us the world of St Austell. Made from the beautiful white Cornish china clay beneath our feet, on it you will discover scenes from around the town: from the soaring Gover Valley viaduct to the water wheel of Wheal Martyn, from the medieval tower of Holy Trinity Church to the cutting edge biomes of the Eden Project. Look out also for some of the smaller details – can you spot the dogs enjoying their day out?
Ceramic artist Marion Brandis worked with local people, aged from 5 upwards, on the design. They sent her drawings showing their favourite parts of St Austell and these inspired the scenes on the sculpture. Marion says: “My collaboration with St Austell’s residents was a rewarding process. They sent me drawings of what they love about the local area and I based my design on their responses. The St Austell sphere, the largest I’ve ever made, is created using a jesmonite shell with a porcelain mosaic cladding – using china clay from St Austell.”
The sculpture is made from hundreds of handmade porcelain tiles. Porcelain is a white, translucent ceramic material made primarily from kaolin (china clay) which is made from decomposed granite. The granite around St Austell was pushed to the surface of the earth from the centre of the planet as a very hot liquid around 295 million years ago.
Clay Planet is one of a number of artworks made with local people supported by the Austell Project which aims to creatively celebrate both the past and future of St Austell.
Find out more with Marion talking with Sandy Brown and Susan Elliot about her project in our Ceramics In Public Places film.