STEPHEN CLOVER : EVERYTHING FLOWS
Dimensions: 34 x 11 x 18 cm
Materials: Porcelain and bronze
Stephen started working with ceramics in 1982. Self-taught, he started by hand-building experimental forms in earthenware, stoneware and porcelain, fired in an electric kiln. He remains a hand-builder, principally making sculptural pieces but also using slip-cast elements in his work. After attending a foundry course at Central St Martins in 1990, he sometimes incorporates bronze and precious metal in his work.
The subject of this response is a stone and wrought iron garden roller, circa 1910s, made for Ethel Mairet of Ditchling. It displays hand-cut lettering by her friend, Eric Gill. The words inscribed on the roller are from an old English folk song.
Stephen was inspired to make a miniature version of the original roller in cast bronze and porcelain bisque. When rolled on a bed of porcelain, the letters on the roller in bas relief form the words ‘PANTA RHEI’. They are from a saying by the Ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus – which translates as ‘Everything Flows’ or ‘Everything Changes’. Heraclitus is reputed also to have said ‘Nobody enters the same river twice, for the river has changed and the person is different’.
Gill’s craftwork alone is the subject of this response but the title of the piece is intended to reflect some of the perceptions and sentiments which have been expressed about the man.