Research Entry: References and Projects

Library Project idea

Why not have a lending library for mugs- one pot, many users.

The Halifax public library (opening 2014) 5th Floor would be perfect!

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Letter to Alfoldy

Hello Sandra,

I am now at the University of Florida for my Masters and wondering if as a curator of ceramics in Nova Scotia and someone interested in craft and food you might be able to help me out with a project?

I have been thinking about the new Halifax library since the call for art proposals it put out two years ago and all that the amazing HMR library services do. I have also been thinking a lot about public access to ceramics and use. Today any food a action a vessel will see is domestic, small scale and private, disseminated by the owner of the vessel.  A pot does not get experienced (I mean in its full serving state) by many people in it’s life, just by dinner guests alone or perhaps by subsequent owners should it outlive the original one. In a passive state the pot may be observed by a few more in a home. A pot therefore is personal, is secret. This circumstance is a strength a defines the hand crafted vessel but is also problematic as any enjoyment or learning that comes from use of a particular unique pot is non-existent to the public. For mass visual consumption we have photos, blogs, catalogs, galleries and museums. All that widen the void between pot and food, touch, experience: vital elements to the ceramic field.

I have been watching the Halifax Tool Library project unfold and ruminated on use that does not involve ownership. What is a library but a public archive that promotes and facilitates private experience?

Wall” where each month a local potter can sell mugs, part of the partnership involves four mugs to be store behind the counter so that patrons can use the featured potters mugs for free, getting actual interaction with a variety of pottery, hand on handle, lip to lip etc. Patrons over time will experience a great sampling of all that Nova Scotian potters produce.

Why not a mass a collection of mug to loan to the public?

This already exists by way of the The Artstream Ceramic Library “a social-outreach project whose mission is to connect contemporary functional ceramics with ordinary people”. ( The new library could be a perfect venue for such a thing. I has originally thought of the project as part of the cafe, which exists on the 5th floor, but it would be better as part of the library itsels. On the 5th floor there is wall space (according to the blueprints), a self check out and an information desk and access to the “living roof”. I would at least like to put together a proposal that could be applied to any library system. You can find the blueprints attached!

It seems like a straight forward endeavor.

Mugs can be donated (from many amazing talented potters) they can be barcoded with a decal, numbered and scanned just like any book. Late fees, damages fines etc. would function exactly like a book and cost the same.

The art librarian at the University of Florida also happens to be a potter and so I will get feedback from both her and the founder of the Artstream Ceramic Library.

If you have any input or suggestions let me know! Show I simple enquire who the contact would be for the Halifax Library via the main email? In this email should I give a small pitch?




Similar Projects

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