These handbuilt ceramic pieces focus on surface decoration, collage and juxtaposition; where the vessel is a starting point for exploration of shape, and an interest in the sense of repair and assemblage has informed my method of construction over several years.
The shapes in the collection continue to evolve, building on what came before and reaching for a pleasing sense of aesthetic and balance. As all pieces are part of an ongoing investigation this creates a 'continuing symphony' where each piece is rich in movement, energy and aesthetic value. Therefore, these multi-faceted pieces sit happily exuding calm and balance on their own, as they do harmoniously when in a group or collection.
More recent research into 18th century tea caddies adds another dimension to my forms, in particular inspiring an oval shape yet still encompassing several individual panels. Other references include dressmaking patterns and text, maps, boats; with my colour palette drawing inspiration from the clouds and the landscape.
I find that drawing and painting is integral to the development of the surface treatment of my pots. Layers of decorating slips are applied in a painterly manner to build up the surface and create a depth that holds similarities to misty skies, or walks across the hills, which in turn allows the vessels to create a sense of place. Often these pieces can evoke memories of a walk or a view across the sea adding to the notion of interpreting landscape.
With each piece of clay I like to be able to weave the surface pattern in, around, out and through - to explore the space and composition much like a painting. This is worked alongside more controlled sgraffito techniques, sometimes in order to 'contain' the painted surface, and other times to continue it.
Each piece continues to be individual and I approach it in this way. I find it is vital to have a conversation with each one, focussing my energy and concentration on a single piece at a time. Reflecting and evaluating throughout. I talk to them - do you need a touch more white here, or perhaps a darker section/strip there? And so, each piece is an interpretation of an earlier experience. A painting in clay.
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30th September - 25th November 2017
Made in the Middle (p.4)
The Brewhouse Arts Centre, Burton upon Trent, DE14 1EB
This touring exhibition curated by Craftspace, represents 32 makers and showcases the broad range of work being produced across the Midlands.
Made in the Middle is a partnership between Craftspace and the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in collaboration with The National Centre for Craft and Design.
A Craftspace touring exhibition.