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Crafting the Vessel: Stories of Gathering and Exchange
Crafting the Vessel: Stories of Gathering and Exchange

Wed, 22 May



Crafting the Vessel: Stories of Gathering and Exchange

Join ceramic artist Esther Palmer on a talk and workshop to reflect about, celebrate and craft a vessel, inspired by “The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction”

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Time & Location

22 May 2024, 18:00 – 20:30

London, Townsend Yard, London N6 5JF, UK

About the event

Join us in celebratating the beauty and power of our most ancient and humble technology, the vessel, and craft one under the guidance of ceramic artist Esther Palmer.

During the workshop, the artist will introduce her practice, which is largely driven by the themes of gathering, women and exchange as well as taking you through some of the texts that inspire and centre her creatively. In particular she will talk about the text ‘The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction’ by Ursula le Guin, who through speculative storytelling, challenges the overarching view of human progress, which often glorifies killing, conquest, and domination, advocating instead for a more holistic understanding of humankind that embraces the importance of the ‘carrier bag’, ‘vessel’, ‘womb’, ‘dwelling’, or ‘pot’.

Throughout the session Esther will invite open discussion, and asks participants to bring any text or object vessel or bag in the evening if they wish to share. After setting the scene, she will guide participants through the creation of their own containers, encouraging mindful and vital techniques that reflect the intention of 'gathering' or 'storing' for the spring and summer months.

If it is a human thing to do to put something you want, because it's useful, edible, or beautiful, into a bag, or a basket, or a bit of rolled bark or leaf, or a net woven of your own hair, or what have you, and then take it home with you, home being another, larger kind of pouch or bag, a container for people, and then later on you take it out and eat it or share it or store it up for winter

in a solider container or put it in the medicine bundle or the shrine or the museum, the holy place, the area that contains what is sacred, and then next day you probably do much the same again--if to do that is human, if that's what it takes, then I am a human being after all. Fully, freely, gladly, for the first time.’ - Ursula K Le Guin “The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction”

About the host:

Esther Palmer is a London-based ceramic artist specialising in wheel-thrown forms. Over the last six years, she has sought out learning opportunities within a diverse range of artist communities. After attending evening classes at Bristol School of Art, Esther became a member of Turning Earth E10 in London. She then embarked on an internship with Tasja Pulawaska in Copenhagen, followed by artist residencies at Laima Ceramics in Latvia and Arquetopia International Foundation in Mexico. She is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Ceramics and Glass at the Royal College of Art. Esther’s practice is currently studio based, where she continues to develop her research and her work. She is open to conversations with galleries and is interested in residencies globally. @esther.ceramics

Subsidised Tickets:

We have a few tickets at a subsidised rate. If this workshop is not monetarily accessible to you, please write to us at to avail yourself of a subsidised ticket rate. Subject to availability.

Refund Policy:

These tickets are refundable up to 10 days before the start of the event (12 May) post which they will be non-refundable.

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