The Glasgow School of Art houses an impressive collection of ceramics ranging from teaching aids such as 13th century Persian pottery fragments to student work from the 20th century. A range of materials and techniques are found within the collection. Earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain are all present in the collection.
The majority of ceramics are glazed and range from simple, monochrome glazes to decorative, polychrome glazes. Some even have lustre glaze such as Ann Macbeth’s two china tea services. Many glazed ceramics also feature colourful hand-painted designs and figures. Several ceramics, such as plates and store jars, feature decorative transfer designs. Robert Stewwart's kitchen store jars exemplify this decorative technique. The application of gold leaf is visible in a small number of 13th to 16th century pottery fragments that are glazed, hand-painted, and gilded.
While not every ceramic is attributed to a specific creator, a large number of them are attributed to past Glasgow School of Art students and staff such as Ann Macbeth, Robert Stewart, and Robert Sinclair Thomson, all of whom have several pieces in the collection. Several ceramics in the collection were bought in by the Glasgow School of Art to be used as teaching aids. Students could learn more about particular materials, glazes, or forms by studying these particular ceramics and maybe even draw some inspiration for their own work. Ceramics made by past Glasgow School of Art students and staff comprises the majority of the collection. Many of these were gifted the School, or were purchased for the collection. These objects range from the very beginning to the very end of the 20th century.
Related Publications: Scottish Pottery Historical Reviews, Nos. 1-26 (1976-2015), The Scottish Pottery Society; Manners, Errol. The Ceramics Source Book, (Collins and Brown, 1990); De Waal, Edmund. Ceramics, (London: New Holland, 1999).