Collect Call: Potted history

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Indy Lifestyle Online
It might seem impossible, but contemporary ceramicists keep coming up with original new shapes. Glenda Cahillane's stem pots, unlike the work of any other potter, are striking because they seem to be made from human anatomical components - shoulders, neck, torso. They also have a front and a back, which few pots do, and the high-fired earthenware is warm to the touch. This one, 38cm high, price pounds 360, is seen from the front. Cahillane, 42, born in Lurgan, Northern Ireland, has been developing the shape for 15 years. She says: "It's about as good as it's going to get." Her pots are at Austin Desmond Fine Art, Pied Bull Yard, 68-69 Great Russell Street, London WC1 (0171-242 4443).

David Jones's "Deconstructed Tea Set" is brimful of ironic references to the affected aestheticism of the Japanese tea ceremony, with its near- worship of misshapen rustic pottery. Jones, a 44-year-old philosophy graduate who teaches ceramics at Wolverhampton University, spent three months potting in Japan as winner of the INAX Design Prize. He throws the pots, fires them by the raku process, then re-softens them before distorting them. Prices: teapot pounds 500, jug pounds 200, cup and saucer pounds 150, sugar bowl pounds 90, spoon pounds 50 - on show until 14 February at the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, City Library and Arts Centre, Fawcett Street, Sunderland (0191-514 1235).

If the jug and vase look somewhat architectural, it is because their maker, Slade professor of fine art Bruce McLean, is planning an all-ceramic housing project with the architect Will Alsop in Groeningen, Holland. These are 53-year-old McClean's first ceramics for 12 years - he is better known for his prints, paintings, films, performance art, and as the creator of the forthcoming art-filled "streetscape" in Argyle Street, Glasgow. The vase, 40cm high and the jug, 30cm, price pounds 1,500 can be seen at Sotheby's second annual Contemporary Decorative Arts Selling Exhibition, running from Thursday to 13 February, Monday-Friday (10am-4.30pm), Saturday (10am- 4pm), Sunday (12pm-4pm) (0171-293 5000).