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'The White Road’ by Edward de Waal

 

When creating the new Wishbone website, styling the photo shoots had to be one of my favourite parts of the whole project, allowing the opportunity to pull together little food scenes from my advancing NZ ceramic collection. You can’t beat having the right plates for each meal – well that’s how I justify my continuous ceramic acquisitions anyway!  With that in mind I thought you might enjoy our book feature below, Edmund de Waal’s  “The White Road, A Pilgrimage of Sorts” – documenting his charming tale of chasing his obsession with porcelain.  Note you may want to have a dictionary or your google tool nearby though, as he certainly enjoys traversing the full extent of the English language.    

Andrea Gibson Scarlett,

Co-owner & Founder of Wishbone

  

The White Road’ is the latest novel from bestselling author of ‘The Hare with Amber Eyes’ - Edmund de Waal. 

In his latest work, readers are taken on a journey, delving into De Waal’s lifelong passion: porcelain - which he lovingly refers to as “white gold.” A potter who has been obsessed with porcelain for most of his life, De Waal describes five of his personal journeys to places where porcelain was refined, collected and coveted – in an attempt to understand the clay’s mysterious allure.  

From his studio in London, he starts by travelling to the three “white hills” in China as well as sites in Germany and England, historic locations that are said to be where porcelain came from. The story documents his pilgramage to these historic sites, detailing observations from the perspective of a man who has devoted his life to the art of pottery, with an obsession for a deeper understanding of his favourite material. 

His quest of understanding becomes an expose of sorts, where he uncovers the material’s involvement in some of the darkest moments of recent history. De Waal’s enthusiasm and deep passion for porcelain extends beyond just ornaments and figurines, his artistic feel and alchemical understanding of the substance is infectious and makes ‘The White Road’ an enlightening and entertaining read.