Click here to see some video of Ed at work
Date of Birth 02/01/1968
Address 19 Hazelton Road, Bishopston, Bristol, BS7 8ER
Contact Tel: 0117 9754406 or 07941 906469

Bear Jug Bongy

Big Blue Bongy

Bear Jug during making
Earthenware, 2000

Detail (of left)

Ed Silverton was drawn to the tradition of slipware and decoration and the bear-jugs, and wanted to make a piece which reflected something of their humour. Working concurrently on a project at the Bristol children's hospital, his work is also inspired by children's drawings of animals.

'Rather than sticking strictly to a bear-jug, which was a form that I liked.....I thought I'd just do a basic animal form and I thought if I slip-casted a shape I could decorate it in different ways, and just play around with slip. I'm just using an animal form as a vehicle for playing around, instead of a flat plate......This is the first time I've modelled in plaster, I usually model in clay, so this is a new experience for me'.

'I was inspired by the Bear Jugs and tradition of slipware in the 18th century particularly for its humour and charm. When looking at the subject matter of Bear Jugs, I discovered they drew upon the sport of bear baiting and the animals kept in captivity. One jug in the V & A collection caught my attention as it features a dog grappling with a bear. I decided to use the format of a large and small animal but with a change to show more humour, affection and sweetness - such as an infant carried by their parent. I hope these qualities are the ones that people who see the piece will feel.'