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R.M.F-23.022.08 TBR / Tania Blanco

Material: Glazed ceramic from cast
Context: Experimenting with clay slip
(Note: this ceramic is not a real water container)
Limited Edition 25 + AP
Size: 295 x 185 x 65 mm cm
Year: 2021
Place: Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK
Artist: Tania Blanco

The Hot Water Bottle was casted from a PVC hot-water bottle found in the shore of the Thames River.  This ceramic has been made to resemble this found debris. It is hollow inside, but it is not possible to use it as water container.

Containers for warmth in bed were in use as early as the 16th century. The earliest versions contained hot coals from the dying embers of the fire, and they were used to warm the bed before getting into it.

By the late 20th century, the use of natural rubber or PVC hot-water bottles had markedly declined around most of the world. Homes better heated, and newer devices competed with them.

However, the hot-water bottle still remains a popular alternative for nostalgic and economic reasons.  The rising prices of electricity bills in many countries, as well as the progressive privatization of energy providers, is suddenly pushing many to use this precarious form as a source of warmth.