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Home // News & Features // How To Make A Commercial, Part I: "Cliche" - Bottled Silver Sheep by Laura Potter
  • How To Make A Commercial, Part I: "Cliche" - Bottled Silver Sheep, Laura Potter, 1998. Part of the Crafts Council Collection (J255). Photo: Todd-White Art Photography

How To Make A Commercial, Part I: “Cliche” - Bottled Silver Sheep by Laura Potter

Chosen by David Sinclair, Exhibitions Curator, The Civic, Barnsley

We ask makers, curators, designers, creative practitioners and the Crafts Council team to select their favourite object from the Crafts Council Collection and to tell us why.

For me this piece works on so many levels, it makes me laugh, I love that a treasured possession could be used on a daily basis, having issues with sleeping myself I relish the fact that I could sit with such beautiful handcrafted objects that could aid my insomnia.

Cliché is a bottle of tiny silver sheep to be taken out and counted at bedtime. As a jeweller, Potter aims to reflect everyday habits and common beliefs, whilst challenging abiding perceptions of jewellery's status as a Decorative Art. Personal possessions are integral to the way an individual constructs an identity; we compose and communicate who we are through the things we own. In this context jewellery items are extremely valuable, not only in material and aesthetic terms but because they are key artefacts through which we establish a sense of self.

Besides that Laura has managed to bottle notions surrounding art, and indeed craft’s, restorative powers. Let’s count Sheep….!

Cliché, Laura Potter - as seen by Veronica Duskin - a school work placement student at The Civic

It was a strange idea, the thought of lying in bed every night, counting these little woolly animals to help you get to sleep. Counting sheep. I suppose everyone finds it easier to sleep with their head in the clouds.
I look up towards my bedroom window. The curtains are fully drawn, only slightly cracked in the centre. Through it, I see orange sky, fluffy pink balls of cotton wool dancing in the atmosphere, and in front of that, lashing rain. It’s beautiful, I suppose. Peaceful.

I sigh, turning back to my little pill bottle, eyes washing over the label. The doctors must think they’re hilarious. Sheep-shaped pills. Insomnia inhibitors. I almost don’t even want to try. I’d much rather lay awake in bed all night than be put to sleep with a cliché. But I’m wide awake, my heart beating like the wings of a moth, and I know that if I don’t take these stupid pills, I won’t sleep a wink. Begrudgingly, I slide a handful of the small, silvery pills from the gold-lidded bottle.

“Insomnia inhibitors.” I chuckle coldly, counting out one, two, popping them into my mouth.  “To be taken literally.”


Cliché is part of Crafts Council touring exhibition, I AM HERE, currently showing at The Civic, Barnsley until 4 June 2016

View this object in the Collections Onliine