DEGREE SHOWS ’09 Paul’s ‘Pot Flowers’ Fire The Imagination:

Kedleston Road campus 504x257 DEGREE SHOWS ’09 Paul’s ‘Pot Flowers’ Fire The Imagination:

Date posted: 26 May 2009

Hundreds of ‘pot flowers’ rather than flower pots will decorate a University of Derby site for a craft student’s final year show.

Paul Cummins has personally moulded, painted and ‘fired’ (or baked) 400 ceramic flowers, which will be planted outside the University’s Markeaton Street site, in Derby, to celebrate the end of his BA (Hons) Crafts degree course. His work will be shown alongside many other students’ as part of the University’s Degree Shows, from Thursday 4 June to Saturday June 13.

The ceramic dish ‘flowers’ are between two to seven inches in diameter. They sit on ‘stems’ made of flexible galvanised steel rods, which range between one to four feet high. The 400 took around a month to make.

Paul, 31, of The Green, Chesterfield – who gave up a career as an architect to become a ceramics artist – said: “Each flower is handmade by me from clay, thrown using a potter’s wheel, and then individually painted with a tin glaze. This takes about 20 minutes per flower.

“We ‘fire’ or bake them in batches, over two to three days. I’ve gone back to the old way of just firing them once, rather than the more modern process of doing this twice, as I think it’s more environmentally friendly.

“For every 100 flowers I make I lose about 15 of them due to cracking or breakage.”

Paul thought of the pot flower field for his final year degree show, as a way of encouraging people to think of ceramics as an outdoor decoration as well as an indoor one. He has already sold some of his creations and intends to put them into commercial production after completing his degree this summer.

His flowers and other ceramics work will be on display at the University’s Markeaton Street site from June 5 to June 13. They will also be at the following exhibitions this summer:

  • June 26 to June 28 –15th International ceramics fair, Earth and Fire (University of Derby stand) at Rufford Abbey Country Park, Ollerton, Nottinghamshire, NG22 9DF
  • July 9 to July 12 – New Designers exhibition (Stand CA11).At the Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, London, N1.

The University’s annual Degree Shows will this year be staged from Thursday 4 June to Saturday 13 June. They celebrate the final year work of hundreds of students in a wide range of fields including crafts, fashion, textiles, fine art, photography, film, design, theatre, visual communications, architecture, music technology, creative expressive therapies and art therapy.

For further media information please contact Press and PR Officer Sean Kirby on 01332 591891 or 07876 476103, or email

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