I did a blog last week about Gauguin’s wonderful ceramic self-portrait as a severed head. Ever since doing pottery at school (…always a disaster!) I’ve admired anyone who works with clay. Some of my favourite objects in the Gauguin exhibition are his ceramics, such as this double vase with a Breton girl motif. Gauguin took up ceramics in Paris between 1886 to 1887, working with the master potter Ernest Chaplet. He seems to have been interested in the artistic possibilities of clay and hoped that his art pottery would provide a steady income (they didn’t of course…poor Gauguin.) Looking at them, it’s easy to see that Gauguin simply refused to conform to contemporary taste, creating something that even he acknowledged to be a little bizarre. In late 1886, he wrote to the French painter and etcher Félix Bracquemond: If you are curious to see all the little products of my crazy ideas now that they’ve come out of the kiln, they’re ready - 55 pieces in good condition. You are bound to cry out in horror at these monstrosities but I am convinced they will interest you. What do you think?