Edmund de Waal: The White Road: Journey into an Obsession
Edmund de Waal has long been captivated by porcelain—its fragility, translucence, tactility, and whiteness. After a lifetime of making his own pots, he embarks on an unforgettable journey to the “white hills” of China, Germany, England, and the United States—places where porcelain was “invented, or reinvented” out of a seemingly mystical longing.
Setting out from his South London studio, de Waal travels first to Jingdezhen in China—the birthplace of porcelain—and on to Venice, Versailles, Dublin, Dresden, the Appalachian Mountains of South Carolina, and southwest England, to tell the story of a global obsession with art, wealth, craft, and purity. Along the way, he meets those who were inspired or made rich by “white gold,” and others whose minds, bodies, and livelihoods were broken by it. In this intimate narrative, de Waal traces the history of this compelling medium, ultimately coming to a more profound understanding of the material he has worked with for decades.