Take a step back into your childhood and join us in a celebration of all things feel-good. This show explores crafts people who produce jewellery, ceramics and mixed media artworks which are not only visually playful but through which you can see the joy of making. The carefully curated show highlights a selection of talented UK based makers who come together to explore their craft in a playful, naïve and imaginative way.
Playful Things 2020
7th November 2020 - 19th June 2021
Lowri is an Award-Winning artist working from her studio at Fireworks Clay Studios in Cardiff, Wales. She creates works in bone china and porcelain, creating collections of china teacups, jugs, vases and plates which are then characterised by slanted openings and decorated with ink and watercolour drawings. Her work stems from references of china displays on Welsh dressers, collections of souvenirs and vibrant illustrations of birds drawn from Victorian taxidermy collections. These objects and images often refer to a sense of place by reviving iconography and symbolism, which have a deep connection to her roots.
The Cat in the Shoe
'The cat in the shoe' is the creation of Lucy Brasher a self-taught textile artist. Working from her studio in Dorset, Lucy's work focuses on the animal form incorporating the human element. Her work has a touch of whimsy with a darker undertone, much like the fables and folklore that have inﬂuenced them. All of Lucy's work is created by hand and machine using predominantly reclaimed and re-purposed fabrics. Originally trained in Fine Art and Photography at the Arts Institute Bournemouth Lucy began experimenting in textiles in 2010 and found a love for the medium; Fabric is a forgiving and ﬂexible medium to work with, it can become anything it wishes even if its life began as something else. An old jumper, an unloved leather jacket, a scrap of lace and an off-cut of felt. In Lucy’s mind these could become a whimsical being straight from the pages of a book you read as a child. She is currently focusing on a new collection around the travels of ‘The Bear and the Crow’ a now self-published illustrated book with textile sculptures created alongside the narrative.
Jane has worked as an artist for over twenty years, in a variety of materials. Her sculptures are strongly influenced by her everyday life. People and animals met on daily dog walks set the seed of an idea. The materials then come into play and direct each piece’s development. Jane uses found materials wherever possible, giving each figure a strong character. These materials give a sense of a history to the existence of each piece. All surface colours and patterns are from papers and books giving an aged and subtle finish, the only paint used being to colour the tiny lips. Each resulting piece is unique.
Zoe originally studied ceramics at U.W.I.C Cardiff and then worked as a Community Artist and Lecturer in Ceramics for almost 10 years. Inspired by the animal form, antique and vintage toys and childhood memories – she combines carefully sourced, reclaimed materials such as wood, wire and vintage mill bobbins (a nod to the Yorkshire textile industry). Zoe firstly work from her sketches and create a wire armature; core wool is then wrapped around. The form is made by adding more wool which is sculpted and compacted using barbed felting needles – a process that takes many hours. Hand stitching adds another layer of colour and creates a rich surface texture which imitates the animal`s coat.
Alex Sickling is an illustrator and ceramicist based in Newcastle. She explores the process of image making through ceramic objects, creating both functional and decorative pieces, including plates and figurines. Known for her love of Staffordshire pottery, and her fascination with Victorian society, Alex has collaborated with clients such as Anthropologie, the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and the Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield. She graduated from Leeds College of Art in 2012.
Shirley Vauvelle is an established decorative mixed media British maker, her practise has tended to produce playful component pieces combined with found materials. Assemblages inspired by creatures, birds and plants. Shirley's art education background and initial design career was in textile/surface decoration. Self taught in ceramics, recently her work has become more abstract and larger in scale and concentrates on form and balance of space as a whole.
A collection of new works, a year in the making, with a two year thought process. There is a very intimate valley landscape high up in the Atlas mountains. In Spring it is lush and green, with almond blossom and new growth emerging from darkened branches. In a glade down by the mountain river there is a very special place that will always stay with Shirley. A unique landscape with huge sculptural boulders mapping the river, set strong and heavy against the lightness of nature.
Drawing forms the starting point of all Becca’s work. It is combined with painting and printmaking to build narrative on the surface of decorative hand built ceramics; exposing brush-strokes, fingerprints and making marks to accentuate the relationship between vessel and subject.
in addition to ceramics, Becca make zines, prints and short animations.
Rachel grew up in the small town of Oundle in rural Northamptonshire. She completed an arts foundation course at Northampton School of Art before going on to study for a BA Hons. in Fine Art at Maidstone in Kent. During her three years there she studied textiles as a subsidiary subject and this became a great influence on her work; using felt making, dyeing, and weaving to express her ideas.