Contemporary Ceramics at Somerset House : The following gallery represents an excellent collection of ceramics based in London. Contemporary Ceramics has opened an exciting new exhibition space in Somerset House. The new location presents a unique and lively gallery in which both contemporary and traditional studio ceramics sit side by side. Contemporary Ceramics exhibits original and distinctive work, illustrating the current diversity of thought and making processes practised across this stimulating discipline.Once a month, a selection of new makers will be introduced. The new venue creates a setting where the vitality and everyday function of handmade mugs and bowls can be enjoyed and celebrated alongside the aesthetic considerations of stand-alone pieces.
Carolyn Genders says of her work ; ”Living in the country I cannot ignore the seasons and the consequent transformation of the landscape throughout the year. This influences my work and referring to landscape studies in my sketchbook and the marks and brushwork of my life drawings, I work intuitively on forms developed from organic sources. Responding to the material, enjoying the rhythm as I move around the form, I make marks of depth and variation, scratching and scraping through layers of slip, revealing the clay and emphasising the dryness of engobe or the softness of burnished slip; the silky surface emerging as polished as a sea worn pebble. I work spontaneously, creating forms and surfaces that evoke the feeling I have when I am part of the landscape, not illustrating it but striving to convey nuance of shape, balance and mass and creating mood and atmosphere.”
Sarah Dunstan decorates rolled out sheets of clay, using various techniques including painting and printing with coloured slips. The pieces are then put together using paper templates to create the final form – similar to the patterns that her mother used as a dressmaker when she was a child.
Anne James makes thrown porcelain forms, sometimes modified by beating. Each piece is covered with coloured slip and burnished while still slightly damp, after biscuit firing further slip decoration is applied and fired, often several times adding extra lustres. The work is taken hot from the kiln and smoked in sawdust.
Mathew Blakey was born in the UK, studied at the National Art School, Sydney, Australia in 1993 and returned to the UK in 2002. His work is thrown softly in porcelain and often altered or distorted to give the pots energy and movement. They are glazed in rich aqueous glazes that enhance the softness of the forms.
Tim Andrews specialises in smoked and burnished pots including raku. Trained with David Leach 78-79 and at Dartington Pottery Workshop 79-81. For number of years made mostly domestic stoneware and porcelain. 1986-93 shared studio with David Leach. Since beginning of 1994 working from own workshop in Devon. He favours strong classical forms with a variety of surface textures, impressed and incised decoration, fuming, lustres and other treatments.
Peter Beard makes thrown and hand build individual pieces mainly in stoneware. High and low temperature glazes with colour pigments are used to achieve matt and fluid textures giving a wide range of pastel to strong colours.
Author of ‘Resist and masking techniques’.
Sandy Brown trained in Japan. Her work is now widely exhibited internationally. Sandy makes expressive lively pots that show the tactile sensuality of clay with fresh spontaneous decoration. She runs workshops on Intuition and Creativity and lectures and demonstrates world-wide
Marcus O’Mahony fires his work in a three chamber wood kiln and a salt glaze gas kiln.He is fascinated by the interaction of salt and wood fire with the clay. These methods of firing enhance the form and are a source of constant inspiration.
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