Christmas Show 2018
3rd November 2018 - 5th January 2019
A unique selection of contemporary craft by established makers and makers fresh on the craft scene from across the UK come together in this special exhibition. Ceramics, wood and works in mixed media explore a variety of skills and techniques in the world of craft today for you to own or admire.
Image; Sun Kim
Helen Martino (ceramics)
Helen’s ceramic sculptures embody a sense of narrative. Each piece within a series explores an element of the story through a change in scale, movement, composition or colour. Helen is fascinated by body language within both the moving and still image. She finds inspiration, for example, in the exaggerated and stylised movements expressed by actors in silent movies; but equally interesting to her is the way in which narrative is depicted within Mogul and Persian miniature paintings. Here, a still gesture, combined with often intricate and symbolic composition, captures a moment which tells both a past and a future story. Her sculptures, often intimate in size, relate to this single moment where great, or small, events in people’s lives are revealed by gesture and communication. Having been trained as a functional potter/designer it has taken her years to realise that sculptural works, unlike pots, do not necessarily need openings to reveal the inside. For Helen it is not just the form of the sculpture that matters but also its surface. Here there is the chance to build up layer on layer of texture, pattern and colour that gives each piece its individual character, mood and story. Helen has also been working with print on clay rediscovering traditional methods of printmaking such as lithography and linocuts.
Anne Butler (ceramics)
Anne received a BA Ceramics from the University of Ulster, Belfast in 1985 and an MA Ceramics from the University of Wales in 2000. Anne is also a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors. Material, process and structure are key concepts in Anne’s work. Her making process and firing techniques challenge the fallibility of materials alluding to inherent fragilities. The passage of time and cultural and individual memory is areas of interest which she explores through transformation, sequences and accumulation and dissolution of material. Porcelain vessels capture the light beautifully and her mark-making and decorative sensitivity towards the materials she uses result in a beautiful array of forms for the viewer to explore.
Paul Wearing (ceramics)
Textures that manifest naturally on surfaces within diverse urban and rural landscapes, are fundamental to Paul’s practice. He expresses his relationship to these through the glazed surface and ceramic sculptural vessel form. The vessels are formed using two techniques; press-moulding - enabling Paul to quickly form the base and coiling - a slower method allowing Paul flexibility and control over the vessel shape and size as it develops. Paul’s treatment of the glazed surface renders evidence of brush marks and the chemical reactions of the glaze. The surface is built up and transformed through the application of multiple layers of slips and glazes. As he paints the glaze onto the surface, it dries and absorbs quickly into the bisque-fired clay body. Once applied the glaze materials are set to react within the conditions of the firing process. In the kiln alchemy takes over, the heat-work fuses, melts, bubbles, blisters, shrinks and cracks the materials, exposing their volatile nature. Once fired the glazing process bears witness to its own history as the surface reveals the multiple layers.
Verity Howard (ceramics)
Verity is a ceramic artist who responds to subjects surrounding people, history and places. By creating slab built works she captures feelings, moods, atmospheres and a sense of place. The forms Verity creates are contemplative, using clay as a medium for drawing and monoprinting. It is important to Verity that the form of her work is integral to the subject she is responding to. That surface and form work together to create a successful and harmonious composition.
Carolyn Genders (ceramics)
The essence of Carolyn’s ceramics is the exploration of the tension between form, brushstroke and colour. The controlled colour interventions create movement and depth and add harmony to the traditional coiling process. Finished pieces are the result of extensive exploration, sampling, understanding and ownership of a range of matt vitreous slips and burnished terrasigilitta. Surface colour and mark making, integral to the clay body intentionally confuse line and shape. Physical lines define shape and create visual tautness that emphasise the unique rhythm of the vessels. More than painted surfaces, each piece is a continuous three dimensional canvas.
Wendy Farley (ceramics)
Wendy’s work consists of elegant forms which have been burnished and smoke-fired. Influences come from just about anything, especially the natural world and in particular coastal areas and ethnographic art. Wendy’s pots are mostly vessels, coiled and pinched, with some thrown pieces; they are all scraped back and either burnished or worked on to create textures. Wendy finds using oxides gives her the same balance between the control she is able to imposed and the accidental random markings that she particularly appreciates when smoke-firing.
Sun Kim (ceramics)
Sun Kim is a Korean ceramicist born in Saudi Arabia. She received her first BA in Fine Arts in Brazil where she grew up. Following that she continued her studies in ceramics, graduating with a second BA from Alfred University, New York in 2003. In 2004 she moved to the UK to undertake a studio assistantship with Edmund de Waal. In 2007, she set up her own practice in South London where she is currently based. Her work focuses on making functional objects which explore the relationship between the traditional and the contemporary. The inspiration comes from her surroundings; objects and their historical context, architecture, texture, colour, design and nature. They all continually feed her visual language and open new paths of investigation. For Sun, making is not only a personal journey but also an interest in generating interaction and a narrative within the environment.
April Black (wood)
April graduated in 2016 from the Duncan of Jordanstone college of Art and Design, at the University of Dundee in Jewellery and Metal design. Her beautiful wooden vessels were inspired by the positive impact that time spent in nature had on mental wellbeing after volunteering with ‘Greenbuds’, a mental health program based in Dundee. As a result of this experience April wanted to explore the sentimental attachment to found objects and the connotations these objects can have for the individual. Her aim was to translate the feeling of calm and peace that the outdoors gave these participants by creating vessels to hold their found objects, creating a visual reminder of a time where they felt at ease. The vessels are created in wood as it is more sympathetic to the natural environment and she incorporates precious metals to highlight the importance of these objects for the user.
Colin and Louise Hawkins have been working collaboratively since 1998. Their combined training and experience is extensive and diverse and both have been involved in glass making for over 20 years. Louise graduated in Design at Goldsmiths College London before studying at the International Glass Centre, while Colin trained in Glass at Sunderland University and the Royal College of Art in London. They gained much of their understanding of the medium of glass early in their careers whilst working alongside some of the British Glassmaking industry’s traditional and contemporary artisans. From their glass-blowing studio in the Cotswolds. Colin and Louise use a combination of traditional glassblowing techniques and contemporary craft skills to develop their work which is held in both public and private collections worldwide.
Stephanie’s work is mostly influenced by animal forms and she particularly loves exploring her relationship with horses and dogs, having spent much of her childhood in Scotland growing up with them. She has always had animals around her and the connection that she has with them is the essence of her work. The ceramic forms she makes are stylised to emphasize power, elegance and grace or to convey a familiar holding of the body or movement of the head, perhaps a comical movement or a deep sense of peace in a resting form. The natural world has always inspired her, a love of wild places and spiritual connection with the land and sea. Stephanie especially loves the west coast of Scotland for its mountains and sea lochs, its soft mist and coruscating light, and West Cornwall for its dramatic coastline and granite outcrops which themselves suggest ancient animal forms emerging from the land. Stephanie loves to walk its coast paths and woodlands observing the birds and wildlife living there. She is thrilled by the prehistoric presence of cormorants drying salty wings and their effortless motion through water and sky, the swift shyness of the fox or the snuffling badger at dusk.
Lucy Elisabeth (wire artworks)
Lucy creates sculptural illustrations and loves the quality of line that wire creates; its shape, shadow and form. She explores the concept of a framework: a pattern, a plant or a skeletal form. The process of bending wire is immediate and irrevocable, a commitment to creating an expressive line that exists in three dimensions.
Lisa Wisdom (metal artworks)
Lisa follows an instinctive human reaction to pick up threads of the past and weave them into the present. Stepping out from her door she walks over the Cornish landscape, gathering the archaeology of industry. It is perhaps this creation of art out of the landscape that she hopes speaks to the viewer truthfully of the land that it depicts. Lisa’s palette is the naturally occurring shades of rust and the blues of copper; the materials' own reaction to climate. She utilises charcoals minimally for details or tonal variation to increase perspective.
Clare Crouchman (ceramic artworks)
Clare discovered ceramics in 1992 whist travelling in Japan. During this time she studied traditional Japanese ceramic techniques and participated in several Japanese ceramic fairs. She immediately felt an affinity with the ceramic process from the earthy, physical, raw clay to the alchemy of the Anagama kiln firing. On her return to the UK Clare continued this fascination with clay by studying MA Ceramics at UWIC, Cardiff where she developed her individual technique of inlaying different textured clays within a two dimensional format. Clare has been creating her highly distinctive ceramic wall panels since setting up her own studio in 1997. Stoneware clay has unique properties that she enjoys exploring. There are multiple textures ranging from rough, heavy grog to smooth, shiny glazed porcelain that create tactile, contrasting surfaces. The ceramic medium allows a variety of lines and marks to be utilized in the work. As well as painting layers with different stained clays and inlaying different clays, drawing into the clay is a crucial element of her work. My fascination for the beauty of the landscape has deepened over the years into an appreciation of the details. These fragments suggest that there is an orderly process in the chaos of the natural world. Finding my own order in this chaos is explored through abstracted forms, particularly rhythmical and repetitive patterns which offer reference to this ordered nature whilst maintaining a visual language of reduced and economical form.
Photography by Laura Hutchinson
Photography by Laura Hutchinson
Photography by Dan Barker Studios
Photography by Dan Barker Studios
Photography by Dan Barker Studios
Clare Crouchman & Lisa Wisdom
Clare Crouchman & Wendy Farley