'Tear bottles' have an ancient heritage.

Used by ancient Greeks, they are also referred to in the Bible.

Pilgrims of old carried tear-shaped vessels on long journeys. 

Victorians caught tears in vessels and waited for them to evaporate,

symbolising an end to their mourning. 

In 2015 ceramic artist Deborah Tompsett presented her installation

‘A Thousand Bottles of Tears’

in various parts of inside Chichester Cathedral.

The work received wide acclaim and many positive comments

from visitors from across the world.

Each bottle is distinctly individual,

fashioned by Deborah on a traditional potter's wheel.

The bottles are made from fist sized lumps of mixed clay,

with sizes varying from a baby's fist to a large male hand. 

An individual's fist is estimated to be of equal size to the heart.

Since 1025 interest in this ancient tradition has been growing

prompting various artists and charity activists to join the journey. 

The powerful emotional responses that the concept of tear bottles can evoke 

has led filmmaker John Forrest and Deborah to explore possibilities for

charitable work linked with mental health.

Please join the conversation. There is a contact form on this website.

We were delighted that 'A Thousand Bottles of Tears'

was judged overall winner in the 2018 Chaiya Art Awards, the UK’s biggest art awards exploring spirituality through the visual arts.

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© 2017-2020 The Tear Bottle Project

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