Hi everybody.

Today I’m going to talk about a trip I recently went on, organised by the Woodland Trust to Cefn Ila (ILA) near Usk. It is another fascinating place I’d never heard about, steeped in social history and ancient woodlands. Unexpectedly, on part of the walk they also had the remains of a Victorian ram pump, which utilises the natural power of falling or rapidly moving water, meaning the ram pump requires zero external energy supply to operate. These pumps went out of favour with the introduction of electricity, but are now manufactured again, because of the essential interest in green energy. And guess what, they are sometimes manufactured out of ceramics (or stainless steel), because these materials are resistant to abrasions and are hardwearing.

This got me thinking about some of the other unexpected uses of ceramics, including deep sea and space exploration. They are also used in the manufacturing of semiconductors, TVs, from smartphones to washing machines, refrigerators, and countless other applications. So, next time you make a humble honest pot, think of all the other countless applications ceramics are used for. Until next time, seize the clay!