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Art and craft – why should artists care about their materials?

By Marianne Brown  

Barnaby Barford's ceramic tableaux: 'Come on you lightweight, down it'.

There is something deeply satisfying about sticking your thumbs in a lump of wet clay and watching it change shape on a wheel. Allah, God, the Maori’s Tane Mahuta – deities in cultures across the world are said to have made man out of clay. As  Edmund de Waal puts it: “clay and people go together very well”. Contemporary art students, however, do not seem to think they can…

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