New Work

New Work

The last few months have been very exciting… I am now selling through Darkroom London, a super cool interior design shop in Holborn. I have designed a unique colour range for their store, black exteriors with primary colour geometric insets.

Darkroom Collection

Darkroom Collection

And Darkroom have just opened a store within Selfridges London, taking my work alongside their other designers to sell in this most prestigious of arenas!!!

https://darkroomlondon.com/

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New Ideas

October 27, 2014

I’ve started being a bit more playful and experimental with the surfaces of my vessels, and I have developed two ideas that I am going to push further over the coming months. The first idea using strips of colour coming out of the negative space across the top surface, allowing me to create connections between pieces. The second idea using offset polyhedron shapes around the negative space to further challenge the perception of depth.

Making connections

Making connections

Offset polyhedrons

Offset polyhedrons

London Fair

London Fair

November will see a very busy month for me! Two exhibitions and one London Fair! All very exciting! I will be selling work similar to my degree work, but in new colour combinations, and with some new additions if all goes to plan. Here is a sneak preview of something new I have been working on in the studio this week…

Colour Extensions

Colour Extensions

First Firing!

September 18, 2014

Just unloaded my first full firing and had a brilliant batch of vessels! No losses and no damages!

Landscape//Colour

Landscape//Colour

First week in my new studio!

September 11, 2014

My first week at Fireworks Clay Studios on the one year Graduate Residency has flown by! My space is slowly filling up with moulds, tools, endless containers of coloured slip and a few new pieces.

Fireworks Graduate Residency Space

Fireworks Graduate Residency Space

The space came with an old fashioned school desk, with an adjustable lid, perfect for those hours of sketching that lie ahead of me…

call me old fashioned

call me old fashioned

New shapes are currently being being turned into moulds. And yes that is a Rob Kolhouse mug you can see on my sketchbook!

no space to work

no space to work

Luckily all of these freshly cast pieces have just been loaded into my first bisque at Fireworks, as I have completely run out of work space. I have seven exhibitions between now and January, and one Christmas fair… so here’s to making!

New work!

New work!

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to be given a full scholarship to study at Penland School, North Carolina, for a two week ceramic course called Dinner Plans. The class was led by Elisa De Feo. Two weeks ago I flew out to Charlotte and picked up a hire car and headed across the state, alone, and up the mountains. The sat nav I hired refused to acknowledge the  existence of the school or the local roads, so the hire car man programmed in the local town and sent me on my way, a little nervous! With ten print outs of maps and road by road instructions, I managed to get myself a few miles away from the school, at which point signs led the final way. The school is pretty remote, and the roads aren’t for the faint hearted!

The view from the Pines to the Clay House

The view from the Pines to the Clay House

I arrived in mist and rain, but the following morning the skies cleared and the incredible surroundings of the school became visible. The school over looks a valley of forests and mountains beyond in all directions. The clay house facilities were amazing, with huge wood firing kilns, loads of electric kilns and giant toploaders, and two huge studio spaces.

kiln resized

Big Kilns!

no plaster resized

Bisque moulds only!

Our aim was to think about the relationship between food and ceramics, and how best to show off a meal made for us by a local award winning chef, Nate Allen. Using local fresh seasonal produce, Nate wanted us to produce four plates or dishes, one for the main protein part of the meal, and three sides for vegetable he would be serving us.

 http://www.knifeandforknc.com/

I chose this course specifically to challenge my hand-building skills, which I haven’t used in about four years, and to remove me from my comfort zone of slip-casting. I wanted a break from the conceptual sculptural work I had spent the last year focusing on, that would push me explore clay in different way and remind of the reasons why I fell in love with the material. We used Elisa’s own porcelain recipe, and made ring moulds and hump moulds from a rough stoneware clay, exploring shapes.

Blessed Pots

Blessed Pots

Nate's food! My dishes!

Nate’s food! My dishes!

The meal was incredible, the freshest and sweetest corn I’ve ever eaten, rare varieties of tomatoes picked that day, green beans and handmade tagliatelle pasta with courgettes and peppers, served on my four triangular shallow dishes. It really was a fantastic experience to eat off my own dinnerware, and they worked surprisingly well (apart from being a tad on the small side) and it really made me consider the functionality of my design.

Cones resized

Firing to a low stoneware temperature

Wood resized

Stacked wood

 

Alongside the ring moulds I made for my triangular dishes, I also made a hump mould, and made bowls using the studio’s hump moulds. This was a bit of a revelation for me, as I only started doing to fill the time whilst clay was drying, and quickly discovered how easy and enjoyable it was. I used a cocktail stick to make simple marks in the porcelain, triangles and lines, and put rough foot rings onto the bottoms to help prevent the shape from warping too much during firing.

Nesting Bowls resized

Nesting bowls

Tree Bowls resized

Tree bowls

 

Elisa taught us how to inlay underglaze and glaze, using wax, and how to use latex, neither of which I had used before. I really liked the outcome of inlaying with glaze on my porcelain bowls, and I hope to develop my own tableware range using these simple designs and techniques. This would allow me to split my practice, having an every day range of products that are quick and reasonably simple and cheap to produce, and my sculptural conceptual pieces which are more expensive but unique and further developed.

 

Very close to heaven!

Very close to heaven!

 

Penland was a much needed break and retreat from the stress of finishing the final year of my degree, and being dropped in the deep end of practicing professionally. It helped me find my love of clay again. By taking me back to the basics, making me slow down and think very differently to my norm, I retraced steps I made years ago, came up with many new ideas to take forward, and became excited about clay again! What more could you want? Well, just in case, I should probably tell you the food is amazing! Three meals a day, the freshest ingredients, many from the Penland veg patch, different each day and thoroughly wholesome. Free yoga every day, 7am for the earlybirds and 5pm for the late sleepers. Fireflies at night, thousands of butterflies and birds, the odd hummingbird and don’t forget the bears (not that I saw any). The atmosphere is incredible, full of creative minds from all over the USA, young and old, all who share a desire to learn a knew skill or simply develop their craft and art.

Other courses include jewellery, metalwork, woodwork, glass, painting and drawing, printmaking, bookmaking, photography, weaving, textiles, and more…. Penland has scholarships! Apply! I did, and it was incredible.

 

 

This weekend I was at Art In Clay at Hatfield House, exhibiting with my fellow ceramic students for the last time. I was absolutely blown away by the work of Tjok Dessauvage, whose work has similarities to my own, but also vast differences. He is inspired by geometry, line, shape and form, bold colour and a  highly refined finish.

Tjok Dessauvage

Tjok Dessauvage

Tjok works and lives in Belgium, creating closed forms that are far removed from the functional pot that the form hints towards. Tjok refers to these forms as miniature worlds, the closed top becomes a platform for visual information, carrying on the tradition of ceramics as a vessel for carrying stories.

Tjok Dessauvage

Tjok Dessauvage

He exhibits world wide, and has collectors throughout the EU and UK, many of whom do not normally collect ceramics, proving that ceramic art is finally developing into its own art form.

 

This last month has been the most exciting and eventful month I think I have ever had! At the opening of the Ceramics “By Way Of Clay” degree show I won the Regina Lasker Memorial Prize. This a  new prize that will be awarded to a ceramics student each year.

The Regina Lasker Prize 2014

The Regina Lasker Prize 2014

This week I am exhibiting with my fellow ceramic graduates at New Designers in London at the Design Centre Islington from the 25th – 28th June.

New Designers 2014

New Designers 2014

http://www.newdesigners.com/

Next weekend from the 4th – 6th July we will again be exhibiting at Art In Clay at Hatfield House, Hatfield.

Art In Clay Hatfield

Art In Clay Hatfield

http://www.artinclay.co.uk/

And last but not least, my application to Fireworks Clay Studios was successful, and I am extremely excited to being my Graduate Residency in September for one year! I now have a studio space in Cardiff, with access to kilns and a spray booth, and photographic equipment, which means I can keep making and exploring colours. I will be working alongside some of the best ceramic artists in Wales and the UK with opportunities to exhibit and learn from the professionals!

Fireworks Clay Studios

Fireworks Clay Studios

http://www.fireworksclaystudios.org/

 

 

Join Us!

Join Us!

Teal//Black & Pink//Red

Teal//Black & Pink//Red

 

By Way Of Clay 

The Ceramics Degree Show website has just gone live, with information about the exhibition and each of us exhibiting!

http://www.bywayofclay.com/