Toby Jug


Large salt glazed Toby Jug by Peter Meanley. Toby jugs, which date back to the 1760s,  are large scale ceramic pitchers, depicting a full length figure, and usually showcase famous or fictional people holding a mug. Peter’s sense of humour  is prevalent in this particular piece as it is made to his likeness, a ceramic self-portrait with a twist, as he is portrayed holding a teapot – one of the pouring vessels that Peter is most known for. 

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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