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Dr Pippa Galpin

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Ceramic artist and lecturer at the University of Worcester

Ceramics and the Haptic:

The haptic – and what is perceived through the sense of touch – is instrumental to how we experience ceramics and perhaps, as the oldest and the most distinctively pre-verbal of all the senses, how we understand experience itself.

A sense of this and its significance and led me to undertake a PhD at Bath Spa University (completed in 2016), entitled:
‘Ceramics and the haptic; a case study sited in Worcester Cathedral’

Very quickly, my research uncovered a problem: we do not seem to have the words to adequately talk about touch. Though we use metaphors of touch to capture and signify what we ‘feel’, information about our tactile realities often gets lost when verbalised. This I describe as the paradox of the haptic.

As a ceramist, I try to bring the results of my experiential contact with clay and with the world around me, into being. In this way my ceramic pieces become touch-made-visual, pieces of embodied reality, translating them into a mode where they can be readily talked about.

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