Monthly Archives: September 2011

Vostok 5 ceramics: Mercury 7 capsule

Here’s the Mercury 7 Capsule vase I made with ceramicist Emma Gaston as part of the Vostok 5 exhibition. Emma made two vases, and I used the sgraffiti technique to draw into the vase – it feels good to touch! – you can actually feel the lines that were drawn. This one (pictured) is still available to buy.

Mercury 7 were the first group of men to train as astronauts. They were the first seven men to take part in the first human space flight program of the United States. It ran from 1959 through 1963 with the goal of putting a human in orbit around the Earth. However, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin beat Mercury 7 Alan Shepherd to it, to become the first man in space.

The capsule pictured on the vase illustrates the lack of space the American astronauts had to guide their spacecraft into orbit. I like how alien the craft looks in comparison to the shuttles they use today.. or rather ‘used’, as Nasa launched their last shuttle back in July. And if you have a spare moment – check out the Mercury 7’s spacesuits, wonderfully silvery sci-fi

Yuri Gagarin speaks as the crowd in Moscow looks on..

You can buy this and more at the Vostok 5 exhibition at the Outside World Gallery, Redchurch Street – only on for two more days! 11am- 8pm. Plus lots of other beautiful artwork from the likes of fellow crayonleg Duncan Barrett, Tight Fit contributer Paul Rains, Robert Rotifer and Darren Hayman. Come by and say hello!