British designers Oscar Medley-Whitfield and Harry Trimble have produced a range of tableware made from clay dug up from the bed of London’s river Thames. The collection, Wharfware, is a response to the Design Museum’s Designers in Residence brief, entitled Thrift.
Inspired by the prospect of utilising local materials which are otherwise considered useless, the pair chose to source clay from the riverbank underneath Tower Bridge, just two minutes from the Design Museum. The materials and location are also a reference to the thriving ceramics industry that existed in this area three centuries ago.
Before the clay was usable, the impurities had to be removed through a rigorous refinement process. Rather than using traditional pottery techniques, the duo chose an industrial manufacturing method using moulds and pressure to shape the material, due to the unpredictable nature of the clay.
Wharfware is on show at the annual Designers in Residence exhibition at the Design Museum in London until January 13 2013.