guess what I’ll be watching

Ceramics – A Fragile History Ep 1/3

New series
Monday 10 October
9.00-10.00pm BBC FOUR

Ceramics are some of the most beautiful and treasured objects with pride of place in British palaces, churches, stately houses and even family homes. Whether it’s for celebrating birth, marriage and death, eating and drinking, or showing one’s social status to the world, ceramics contain more than just tea or coffee – they contain something of people’s lives and reveal a lot about Britain’s taste and habits as a nation. They become, in effect, snapshots in clay.

Ceramics – A Fragile History is part of an ambitious year-long BBC Four partnership with the Victoria and Albert Museum called Handmade In Britain – the most wide-ranging and ambitious exploration of decorative arts ever on British television. The first programme in this opening series looks at the history of domestic pottery in Britain from the Tudor period onwards, tracing the evolution of the different techniques and styles involved in the art of pottery and examining what British pots can reveal in intimate detail about how preceding generations lived and saw themselves.

Examining key figures, including 17th-century potters John Dwight and Thomas Toft as well as contemporary traditional potters such as Mary Wondrausch, and drawing on the expertise and comments of contributors including Sir David Attenborough, Edmund de Waal and Grayson Perry, this programme celebrates one of our oldest and most fundamental art forms.