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Professor of English Kate Thomas Writes Catalogue Essay for Gregg Moore Exhibition

April 11, 2019
Professor of English Kate Thomas

Farm-to-table takes on a deeper meaning in Gregg Moore’s exhibition Soil, Stone, Bone at The Clay Studio in Old City, Philadelphia. The exhibition features china created from bones collected in the kitchen of chef Dan Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns. 

Professor of English Kate Thomas, who recently gave the talk "Bone Body: English Potteries and Colonial Violence" as part of the Endowed Lecture Series, wrote the catalogue essay. The essay is the result of a project that was funded by a Public Humanities grant Thomas received from the Mellon Foundation.

From the essay:

"With immortality comes aesthetics. Potters have always reached for formulae that expand the potential for beauty. Across the eighteenth century, European potters sought the secret to the strength and translucence of Asian porcelain, testing all manner of compounds for their clay. It was in a porcelain factory in Bow, East London, that potters Thomas Frye and Edward Heylyn first mixed bone ash into clay body and what is now called “bone china” came into being. The invention rose out of waste-product; Bow was the center for cattle slaughter and the porcelain factory stood side-by-side with knackers’ yards. A diet of meat produced plate of bone."

The full essay can be found on the Soil, Stone, Bone exhibition page. Soil, Stone, Bone is on display through May 26.

Department of English