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Crumpled Vase: C.3-2002

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Crumpled Vase


Potter: Arroyave-Portela, Nicholas




White clay, thrown, crumpled, and sprayed with red-brown terrasigilata slip and blue-stained slip

White St Thomas stoneware clay, thrown, with very thin ridged sides, and manipulated to produce a crumpled effect, and biscuit fired. The interior is covered with very shiny clear glaze. The exterior is sprayed overall with thin red-brown terrasigilata slip, and over that with blue stained slip. The lower part is rounded. The tall sides bulge out slightly in the middle, and then slope inwards towards the oval mouth. The blue-stained slip covers the base completely, gradually becomes dappled, and finally shades out about half way up the vase.


History note: Purchased by the donors from Adrian Sassoon, 14 Rutland Gate, London, SW7 1BB

Legal notes

Gift of Nicholas and Judith Goodison through the National Art Collections Fund.

Measurements and weight

Height: 50 cm
Width: 23.5 cm

Relative size of this object

23.5 cm50 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Place(s) associated

  • London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (2002-03-04) by Goodison, Nicholas and Judith


Early 21st Century
Elizabeth II
Production date: AD 2000


Text from object entry in A. Game (2016) ‘Contemporary British Crafts: The Goodison Gift to the Fitzwilliam Museum’. London: Philip Wilson Publishers: Nicholas Arroyave-Portela studied Ceramics at Bath College of Higher Education, and then worked in the London studio of potter Kate Malone. In 1996, he established his first studio with the aid of a Crafts Council setting-up grant, establishing his current studio in East London in 2000. The artist’s technical and visual invention with the clay vessel soon gained wide recognition, following early success with a major award at Ceramic Contemporaries II at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1996, culminating a few years later in major museum shows in the UK and abroad. The present vessel’s forms draw inspiration from the artist’s fascination with the flow of water and the folds of moire silk garments that he studied at the Costume Museum in Bath as a student. ‘Drawing attention to the abstract qualities of Arroyave-Portela’s work is crucial. Although his pots are evocative of natural phenomena, his response to nature is lateral rather than literal.’ - Lesley Jackson, design curator, historian and author specialising in twentieth-century design.

School or Style

Studio Ceramics

Components of the work

Decoration composed of terra sigillata (slip) ( SM ball clay with hexametaphosphate and oxide colourant)
Interior composed of glaze
Rim Width 16 cm

Materials used in production

white St Thomas clay Earthenware

Techniques used in production

Throwing : White St Thomas clay, thrown, with thin ridged sides, and manipulated to produce a crumpled effect, fired, sprayed with terra sigillata and blue slips and fired again
Manipulated by hand

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: N A P
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Impressed separately
  • Type: Mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.3-2002
Primary reference Number: 47103
Entry form number: 166
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 8 December 2020 Last processed: Wednesday 31 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Crumpled Vase" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-01-31 09:46:05

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{{cite web|url= |title=Crumpled Vase |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-01-31 09:46:05|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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