BA (Hons) Product Design and Craft
Martha Wiles is a ceramist and illustrator specialising in ornate conversation pieces questioning the sustainability of our food system. Martha responds to relationships built between the community of people dedicated to reducing food waste in Manchester. To celebrate their work, she creates trophies and medals to engage audiences to begin positive conversations about food waste and regenerative agriculture.
The trophies are meticulously thrown, slab-built and hand sculpted out of wild clay, using sprig moulds made from food waste to add detail and curiosity to the surface. The visual narrative of the pieces draws from researching solutions to food waste – particularly regenerative agriculture and soil health. The recognition of human labour, time and care to nurture a seed into something nourishing is mimicked by the craftsmanship to elevate foraged clay into an object of value. The pieces are finished with an ash glaze made from food waste giving a chalky white to highlight slogans, as well as gold lustre to add value to the humble foraged clay. The medals are made from the same processes of using press moulds, ash glaze and lustre to create smaller wearable pieces that celebrate those who are passionate to change our food system. Her work intersects traditional representations of ceramics with joyous stylised figures to engage with the serious problem of climate change pro-actively - Instead of confrontation, play is harnessed to enact change.
Martha is keen to continue working with organisations on projects that educate the immediate importance of regenerative agriculture, and to gain first-hand experience working on a soil-centric farm. If revolutionising the food system through the medium of ceramics is inspiring to you, have a look at her work and get in touch to work together to regenerate our food system !!