This Is Art Club! is the show that celebrates and creates art.

In the first episode the gang looked at clay as the base material and you can watch a brief history above and find out about the priceless Fonthill Vase too!

Check out and Insta here and watch it now on the RTÉ Player!

The earliest of all art materials, many cultures believe that we ourselves were formed from clay.

Clay has preserved our past and great mysteries continue to be held within it.
It was the first ever writing surface, used to communicate our ideas, used in architecture, to house us and help celebrate our beliefs.

Neolithic People and ancient civilizations all formed beautiful vessels and decorated their walls using this versatile material - the decorative arts owe everything to what literally is the ground beneath our feet!

This organic matter can create everyday essentials or high art…From dentistry to delph, architecture, engineering, tech and even animation you'll find it in your phone, your computer and your car.

We paint our faces and style our hair with it and even the names of the colours we use ( burnt umber, sienna, ochre) show how artists have always been fascinated with clay.

You can't truly control it, it will always surprise you, clay is where it starts and where we'll all end up. It's the mother of all art materials, so it's time to 'seize the clay'!

The Fonthill Vase was made more than 700 years ago from a type of pottery ware called qingbai porcelain.

At the time porcelain was extremely precious because as the secret of how to make it was only known in China.

Because this vase was thought to be so special a fancy spout and handle were added to turn it into a jug, like this…the relief decoration – the bits raised up from the surface would have been considered experimental at the time.

But what makes it so important you might ask?

It's just a vase!

The Fonthill Vase is important and valuable because we know so much about the amazing journey it's been on since it was made, it was the first porcelain artefact to ever be written about. it has been given as a gift to Kings, been owned by Princes, Dukes and Emperors and travelled the world, intact before being bought at auction by the National Museum of Ireland in 1882 for just 28 pounds!

Today the Fonthill Vase is considered priceless.

It’s the oldest example of this type of porcelain anywhere in Europe. And you can visit it, along with countless other precious treasures at the National Museum of Ireland, Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks.

And it's well worth a visit!

This Is Art Club!

Animation by David O'Sullivan / Dyehouse Films 2022

Narration by Vivienne O'Sullivan

The Fonthill Vase image reproduced with permission of NMI Decorative Arts & History Collins Barracks.