The Campanologist’s Teacup

A ceramics and electromechanical sound art collaboration with Ingrid Murphy.

Four ceramic gramophone horns have a rubber ball suspended inside their throat. Positioned on a fifth plinth is a small bone china tea cup that the audience are invited to tap or ‘ping’. With this interaction the four suspended rubber balls start to rotate eccentrically, driven by small DC motors from which they are hung. With this eccentric rotating motion the balls bounce around the inside of the ceramic horns causing them to ring at a pitch which is defined by their thickness, their surface glaze and the temperature at which they were fired during production.

One initial inspiration for the work came from the common practice of tapping a piece of ceramics and listening to the resulting sound in order to ascertain its inherent quality, value and material integrity.


It was first exhibited as part of the Sensorial Object exhibition at Craft in the Bay, Cardiff 2015.



The piece was selected for the British Ceramics Biennial in Autumn 2015 which was in the old Spode factory in Stoke-on-Trent – a lovely space which oozes it’s industrial ceramic past and has a great acoustic.


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