Vase Inspired by Viral Climate Change Graphic

21st November 2019

A potter has used his skills to further the conversation on climate change by creating a unique vase inspired by a scientist’s visualisation of global warming trends since the mid 19th century.

Buchan Dennis, of Dennis Chinaworks in Somerset, was spurred on to create the vase after seeing Professor Ed Hawkins’ ‘Warming Stripes’ graphic, which went viral last year – spawning a string of similar graphics, clothing and other items.

“Whilst I think that any use of the graphic draws much needed attention to a vitally important issue, I wanted to create something more permanent,” explained Dennis. “Something that would not only start more people talking about the current issue of climate change, but also something that will, if cared for, still be in existence hundreds of years from now, recording a potentially perilous period of our history.”

‘Warming Stripes’, sometimes known as ‘Climate Stripes’ was Professor Hawkins’ visual way of making non-scientists instantly understand how global temperatures have been increasing year on year. Covering a period between 1850 and 2018, the vertical stripes start with a deep blue, gradually fading out and then turning to a deep red to highlight recent high temperatures.

Dennis’s ribbed spherical vase (of a form that he calls ‘Petaloid’) was thrown and turned with exact precision by Rory Mcleod. It uses the same colours as Hawkins’ graphic, and has relevant dates gilded on the vase’s ridges for indicate key years. Of the original graphic Dennis says, “The use of coloured stripes reflects minimalist colour field painting; creating an image whose reality is self-evident and designed to be as simple as possible.”

An image of the vase was shown to the man behind the original graphic, Professor Ed Hawkins of Reading University, who said: “It is inspiring to see the warming stripes being used to create such a beautiful vase which will start important and much needed conversations about climate change.”

The vase has been created specifically for Salisbury auctioneers, Woolley and Wallis, who have sold a number of pieces by Dennis Chinaworks in their regular Design sales. Specialist Michael Jeffery said the saleroom is proud to bring the vase onto the market. “We have sold a number of Buchan’s original designs over the years and they are always well received, but this carries an extra significance. It is a unique work of art; highly collectable in its own right, but with the added importance of furthering vital discussions regarding this topic.”

The vase is being sold as part of the British Art Pottery sale at Woolley and Wallis on 27th November where it carries a pre-sale estimate of £800-1,200.

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