By Lori Covington
The ceramics conservation students and tutors Lorna Calcutt and Ali Sandeman recently visited the Allen Gallery, in the picturesque town of Alton. The Allen Gallery has a brilliant collection of ceramics from all over the world, with a special focus on English ceramics from a very broad range of factories and places of manufacture.
We hope to go back one day to see the vast and varied tile collection-there was no way we could "do" the whole museum in a half day!
But we did spend a delightful afternoon viewing and handling salt-glazed stonewares, creamware, historic porcelains and stunning modern studio pottery, in the helpful company of Neil Hyman, an expert on the collection, and Gill Arnott, Keeper, the Hampshire Arts & Museums Service.
As first year students in ceramics, we came away from the visit greatly encouraged by learning that even novices can identify true porcelain from cunning imposters with the use of a simple torch.
And then we had tea-on ceramics, of course!