Barvas Ware was produced on the island of Lewis in the late 19th
Century and Early 20th Century. It is made of rough clay and
imitates china tea sets which were were popular at the time.
While Barvas Ware was collected by those in cities like London
and Glasgow as examples of a “survival of primitive times”
(Glasgow International Exhibition Guide, 1901), these pieces
are now thought to have been produced purely for a tourist
market, and made by just a few women over a few decades.
The story of Barvas Ware undercuts popular cultural hierarchies
and highlights the parallel realities that Lewissian makers and
city-folk occupied. By creating incomplete meshes in order to
replicate the objects in virtual space there lies further mimicry
and abstraction of form, fabricated through machine problem
It Isn't What It Used To Be, Perhaps It Never Was
archival foam, clay slip, black PLA 3D models, black steel