Edmund de Waal has been making pots for over 45 years of his life. His art and literature speak of his obsession with the elusive material porcelain, or 'white gold' as it has been referred to over centuries. He is most known for his large-scale installations of porcelain vessels, which are concerned with ideas of collections and collecting, how objects are displayed together, how they are placed in the spaces they inhabit, and how objects are lost and dispersed. These themes are prevalent in his acclaimed literary works The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance, a poignant memoir of his family's ancestral collection of Japanese netsuke, and The White Road, Journey into an Obsession, a history of ceramics and a personal telling of his own passion for porcelain.
At Chatsworth House A Sounding Line, an installation of numerous porcelain vessels of varying form, size and color, was commissioned for the Devonshire Collection. De Waal drew inspiration for the commission from the large collection of porcelain that has historically been on display in the house.