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Mark Lawson Bell brings the demise of 52 plates to print


Mark Lawson Bell brings the demise of 52 plates to print

Have you ever found broken pottery and wondered how it got there?

Artist Mark Lawson Bell’s playful imagination will lead you to realise just how broken pottery finds its way to potholes, trenches, unmade pathways and planted borders of urban parks. Tales From Broken Plates charts the final moments of 52 plates before each met its end.

With one eye always to the ground, Lawson Bell collects broken sherds – in archaeologist nomenclature, ‘shard’ is glass, ‘sherd’ is of pottery Mark notes. These are sherds of crockery that others have walked over, unseen or ignored, for decades or centuries more. Revelling in the fact that he’s the next to hold it after so long, he deduces the impossible: that being, WHO dropped the plate WHEN it succumbed to gravity and the LAST meal it carried.

In this new book, he bequeaths 52 fragments with the names of an owner, date and dish, and tells the tale of its last meal. He confesses to hearing the expletives uttered as the plate succumbed, but that may be one imagining too many.

Romantics may enjoy the book for other reasons – many of the stories being of love, playful and humorous. The tales are vignettes in time, set between 1760’s and 1920’s. Bibliophiles will adore it for its hardback linen effect cover, die-cut end papers showing the potsherd locations and its ribbon bookmark. History lovers, you can read how Lawson Bell is inspired by the decoration on the pottery for each story he’s written.

Mark is an artist and former award-winning Creative Director. He finds objects, manmade, often items cast aside, detritus of our species, or botanical. He re-imagines their reality. He often writes a story to accompany their new identity. Recent exhibitions include ‘The Great Imagining’ with Gavin Turk and ‘Dear Earth’ at the Hayward Gallery in London.

Born in 1969, Mark grew up in rural Cornwall. A childhood naturalist, Mark spent his formative years in the woods that surrounded the family home. His tiny bedroom was a trove of tanks of the living, bottles of the dead and dissected owl pellets from the barn. At 16, bored of preserving and pickling, Bell picked up a camera. At 18 he travelled to London to chase the dream of a photographer.

After a few years, with an agent and with work published in Blitz and Vogue, he fell in love with sculpture, making pieces from found objects procured from the streets and skips of London’s East End. Morphing to a Creative Director, he went on to found two design agencies, Warm Rain and latterly Mark Lawson Bell Studio, under the moniker of Plinth Creative. Their client lists citing some of the world’s top brands, from ABSOLUT, to Veuve Clicquot. They won a coveted D&AD Yellow Pencil award for a Pringle of Scotland interior, and featured in many design books. He was the Artistic Director of ‘sketch’; by all accounts the most creative collection of restaurants and bars under one roof in London’s Mayfair.

He is now concentrating on his own art, and lives and works in Hastings, East Sussex. His ‘signature’ is always to have a leaf in his breast pocket.

“A tome that older people will adore, it’s nostalgic, being set in a world that doesn’texist anymore.  Being a book of short stories, it’s ideal to dip into other worlds, when one needs, momentarily, to get away from this one.” – Mark Lawson Bell PR

The book can be purcahsed from It’s also available on,, and from all good bookshops from now (Released March 5th, 2024) RRP £30.00

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