Bellarmine Jug


Salt glazed Bellarmine Jug by Peter Meanley. Bellarmine jugs were manufactured in Europe throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, especially what is today western Germany. The characteristic decorative detail is a bearded face mask appearing on the lower neck of the vessel.

Artist Bio

Peter Meanley is one of Northern Ireland’s foremost ceramicists, having won international acclaim for his abstract spouted pouring vessels and his mastery of the salt glazing technique. Formerly Head of Ceramics at the University of Ulster in Belfast, Peter has been awarded a PhD for researching salt glazing in 1999 – a process which  involves throwing salt into a kiln, whilst it is fired at high temperature, resulting in a characteristic ‘orange-peel’ pitted surface.

Peter’s work initially consisted of strikingly engineered teapots and other functional forms. In time, his focus and never tiring curiosity for the world around him and its possibilities led him to make new forms that can ‘contain liquid’ and can be used to pour from. His fascination with these new forms and his continuous exploration of the salt-fired process yielded the compelling spouted pouring vessels and puzzle jugs which form the core of this exhibition.

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