To find out how my pieces are made, please enjoy the video made by Layton Thompson for their Ceramic Review Masterclass feature. The Masterclass article appears in the May/June 2017 issue, No. 285
My sculptural work explores new ways of using the potter's wheel to create flowing forms, some of which are designed for function.
Watch the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRGF6vI4hJs
Slicing the walls of hand-thrown forms has led to a unique way of exploring the design of both sculptural and functional ceramics. Encouraging conversations with the public, I acknowledge their part in the creative process in informing future work. Whether for the table, the mantelpiece or the wall, each hand-thrown piece has a life of its own.
|Catching the Wave|
By varying the thickness of the walls, an exciting new world has emerged in the profile of the cut edge, combined with a suggestion of flow and movement from the resultant throwing lines. This has led to a distinctive body of work conveying human movement, dance, attitudes and emotions in the spirit of the 20th Century Futurists and providing resilient tableware along the way. Although people or trees may be suggested in the cut edge and swirling waves in the evolving form, each piece can elicit various interpretations, memories or associations personal to the viewer. To intensify these swirling sculptures a palette of radiant matt glazes has been developed containing barium, lithium and copper, which result in dramatically different shades according to thickness of application determined by the method of spraying on the form. Use of these malleable and responsive materials is enabling the artist to offer a lively and novel interpretation of human movement and organic growth through space and time.
My current work is an invitation to explore and celebrate the sense of excitement and energy associated with movement. I combine traditional throwing skills with an unconventional design approach to create distinctive sculptural and functional ceramics.
My ideas come from anything in motion: a flock of birds, a mounting wave, a propeller blade, a dancing couple. Although each piece is a snapshot in time, the speed of the motion each represents may be different. ‘Earth wave’ suggests movement over billions of years, while ‘Dancers’ shows a split second in time.
I work with clay in equal partnership. My role as a ceramic artist is to guide the natural forces of the materials and processes. As in most relationships, I don’t always get my own way.
About the Artist
I established my wheel-throwing skills by dedicating endless hours in the garage of our house in Oklahoma soon after moving from England in 1979. For ten years I made and sold tableware in Oklahoma and later in Norway, returning to England in 1993. I then developed two lines of decorated tableware and established a studio in my basement in Dorking. In 2008 I at last embarked on an art training at City Lit in London, graduating in 2011 with a City and Guilds Ceramic Portfolio qualification, an Art Foundation Diploma specialising in sculpture and ceramics, and a 2-year Ceramics Diploma. Together with painter Chris Forsey and sculptor Nikki Taylor, I have since established Sandstone Studios just off Dorking High Street, where I now work and teach. I also work part-time for Surrey County Council Visual Arts Department part-time in support of the Surrey Artists Open Studios project.
The following link to West Forest Potters describes a demo and talk I gave in November.