Norman is a British potter based in north London. He specialises in thrown stoneware and porcelain, making studio pieces and some domestic ware. The feel of a piece is very important to him and so some forms have a gritty texture to go with the mottled glazes but he like to keep porcelain forms clean, smooth and minimally glazed. Porcelain pieces are glazed in layered blue-green glazes with copper red splashes for accents.
“When I turned 40, my partner gave me a textbook for a present, it was Susan Peterson’s Art and Craft of Clay. This gift was the culmination of years of encouragement and not-so-subtle hinting on his part that I would find pottery a craft I’d do well at. The book was a cleverly thought out ploy that worked, I couldn’t put the book down and it wasn’t long before the need to convert theoretical knowledge into practical experience became too great to ignore.” Photography by Sun Lee.
Hyu-Jin is originally from Seoul in Korea. She chose to work in ceramics because form and texture are very important to her. She likes to create basic shapes and designs and then works with intricate textures on top of these shapes. She hand carves the thrown ceramic body into geometric shapes then uses a knife to carve the textures. Her goal is to combine simple industrial design with traditional craft skills. Her work is often inspired by modern geometric architecture and designers such as Zaha Hadid. She uses a variety of materials in her work with her favourites being Bone china, Stoneware, and Black Jasper.
“My goal is to combine simple industrial design with traditional craft skills. I like to create basic shapes and designs and then work with intricate textures on top of these shapes.
Melanie graduated from Bath School of Art and Design in June 2013, with First Class Honours in 3D Design: Ceramics. The driving forces behind her work are simple; drawn to colour, print and pattern and with a need to experiment. Her current work continues to reflect on her interest in architecture, engineering, urbanism and the impact we have as modern humans. Although clay is her ‘base’ material, Melanie delights in the process of collecting objects, things ‘at hand’ and bringing them together. Not only does she gain a satisfaction from recycling found objects, she revels in the response that arises in herself and hopefully in the spectator when pre used objects are placed together, the connections and references that are made and the possible chain reactions that ensue.
“My current work continues to reflect on my interest in architecture, engineering, urbanism and ultimately, the impact we have as modern humans. I have exhibited all-round the country and taught continually since graduating including The British Ceramics Biennial, New Designers One Year On and Get Fresh in Bovey Tracey."
Jenny Ayrton captures miniature wonderlands in molten glass. Inspiration comes from everyday scenes; a washing line blowing wildly on the first day of spring, an unknown couple on a park bench, a door ajar giving just a glimpse of what lies within. Scenes are directly influenced by Jenny’s life as a Devon-based mum; following visits to the towns, beach and moor she creates tiny wire sketches based on the day’s observations. She then uses a sand-casting technique to encase the wire models between layers of molten glass. It is the unpredictable and uncontrollable flow of the glass which brings each scene to life, creating the breeze in the washing and the foliage on the trees; it also ensures that every piece is truly unique. The locations of most pieces are left deliberately ambiguous, encouraging you to project your own memories onto them. Photography by Clash & Clash Photography.
Award winning Scottish slipware potter, Hannah produces a range of hand thrown earthenware pots using slipware techniques. Based in South West Scotland and in Mid Devon, Hannah shares workshops with fellow potter and now husband, Douglas Fitch. Both use the traditional techniques of slip trailing, sgraffito and firing with wood to create a contemporary range of pots.
“Hannah McAndrew makes the kind of pots that give me warm glow inside, they are pots I can imagine using myself with great enjoyment every day. Her work retains a very strong connection to the historical slipwares seen in museum collections, strong forms with balanced decoration that make the most of the natural characteristics of clay and glazes. The decoration has a refined sophistication that gives her pots a contemporary edge.” Helen Walsh, Curator of Ceramics at York Museums Trust.
Laura is a glass artist based in North Yorkshire. Graduating in 2006 she won 'Best Newcomer' in the Bombay Sapphire Prize, which toured France, Italy and New Zealand. She makes blown glass vessels with strong sculptural qualities and her inspiration is often some small detail in nature, such as a seed pod or a fish's fin. Many pieces have an intensely worked exterior surface and rim which is achieved by meticulous and time consuming cutting, by hand, using a traditional lathe. Each unique piece is then sandblasted and acid dipped to create a soft satin texture, which is beautifully tactile.
"As a maker I experience the hot material as soft and luminous and I try to preserve these qualities in the finished work. By layering transparent and opaque colours, I create vibrant and translucent objects that change with natural light, through the day."
Mel’s wire sculptures are a visual narrative inspired by storytelling and mythology. She enjoys capturing the human form and the interaction with nature. Energetic and humourous, Mel’s work is an inspiring take on the everyday and makes for some inspiring viewing.
"My main medium is wire, which I began to use many years ago as a way of liberating the drawn line into free space. Having worked two dimensionally with the material for some time, I am now far more sculptural and three-dimensional. Ultimately all my language has its roots in drawing and I aim to maintain the sense of freedom of the drawn line in my sculptures. Drawing is the visual artist’s answer to singing.” Photography by John Paul Leonard.
Graduating in embroidery, Zoe’s professional practice has been shaped by combining undergraduate teaching with freelance design work, selling embellished knitted textiles and designing tailored knitwear. The design process begins with materials; both raw and recycled and referring to her collection as ‘Ceramic Patchwork’ reflects this approach. It builds on her interest in hand craft processes, construction and form, and in her belief that items should be treasured for the long-term.
“My work and research activities are inspired by cultural exchange and strongly influenced by ethical concerns. Travel, teaching and volunteering all influence the nature of my creative practice. I am particularly drawn to remote communities where lives are fundamentally shaped by landscape and climate, and am interested in how fibre and textile skills often play an important part in livelihood activities. A year working in Mongolia provided a valuable insight into a less materialistic approach to living and one which relies on protecting the balance of a fragile environment. During these experiences, I use photography as a tool to observe and record.”
After destroying some of her father’s roses by digging up clay to make things as a child, Scottish ceramicist Wendy Kershaw went on to graduate with first class honours from Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen, followed by a Masters degree at Cardiff. She uses porcelain to illustrate an intimate world, a sensitive balance of bold composition and subtle detail results in a rich narrative that is both weighty and
humorous. Work has playfully interpreted proverbs and poems, and recent work deals with anticipated small joys, often the joy of pudding. Wendy uses porcelain to illustrate an intimate world in which small acts of everyday life are imbued with importance. Constructed from porcelain slabs, forms include framed panels, books with moveable pages and folding screens. The intricate illustrations are etched with fine sewing needles onto the raw clay. Underglaze stains are washed on, erased and built up, and after high firing a layering of decals and enamels are applied and fired on.
Louise has been a professional potter since graduating from Loughborough College of Art and Design in 1978. A professional member of the Craft Potters Association Louise has sold her ceramics in many major galleries, and taken part in some of the best UK retail ceramic, art and craft events. Her work is part of private collections worldwide. Louise has gained a reputation for finely thrown stoneware and porcelain, and has made the techniques of incising and carving very much her own. Stylised images are cut freehand, or textures created in the leather-hard clay and, after biscuit firing, are inlaid with rich satin-finish glazes she creates, maturing at 1280°C. The fine craftsmanship, meticulous attention to detail, lively drawing skills, surprise and humour, and a sensitive balance between clay and glaze surfaces, make Louise’s work at once pleasing to the hand and satisfying to the eye.
Ceramics have been a part of Paul’s creative heart and profession for over twenty-five years. During this time he has been drawn ever closer to the traditions of English earthenware, slipware and European folk art. Paul’s collection of decorative ceramics are charming and honest with a sense of fun involved too.
“My aim is to fulfil a need, a desire and a passion for making. My hope is to convey a joy, narrative and intrigue for the viewer.”
Jonathan’s work is fully hand made using traditional blowing and finishing techniques. Much of the work features multiple overlays of colour and clear glass, which are revealed through the cold-working process. Techniques such as cutting, grinding and sandblasting add refinement with a clean finish, as well as combining the use of texture with stunning results.
“I started blowing glass when I first became an apprentice at the age of 16. Following the completion of my degree in Glass Design at Edinburgh College of Art, I was awarded the prestigious Broadfield House scholarship studio. In 2013, I launched my own independent glass blowing studio based in Clavering, Essex.”