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EMERGING Issue 15 July – September 2019

Potters


Emerging Potters - 15

July – September 2019

Introduction The online pottery magazine Welcome to this edition of the magazine. We have just had the graduate shows up and down the country demonstrating just how rich the arts sector is in the UK. For over two weeks the New Designers show is an annual showcase for all that is best emanating from the university courses.

The front cover features Laura Plant who since graduating last year has made a collection for the National Trust, as a result of winning their prize at New Designers last year, and this year was showing with One Year In.

The magazine is an independent journal. The publishers do not accept any liability for errors or omissions. The views expressed in the features are not necessarily those of the editor. Reproduction in part or whole must be with the consent of the editor. All rights reserved.

On an international level the Royal College of Art is recognised as the best in the world. It is only fitting then that Felicity Aylieff, the Senior Tutor for Ceramics and Glass sums up the show. She said, “ The 2019 show for Ceramics and Glass will not easily be forgotten. Full of vitality, it is a show of work that is unashamedly contemporary; that speaks to the here and now and looks to the future in its ambition. It talks about the materials and processes involved in our trade with an intelligence and perception, pushing the boundaries of the disciplines as students explore new territories of thinking and making”. And you can’t get better than that. Paul Bailey Editor Contributions to the gallery of work from makers and students are welcome and will be included wherever possible on a first come basis. Send to the email address – paulbailey123@googlemail.com. The editor’s decision is final. © Paul Bailey 2019 Emerging Potters is produced in association with Aylesford Pottery UK.


July - September 2019

Advisory Panel Alan Parris and Billy Byles are master potters and joint partners of the Aylesford Pottery in Kent.. John Leach, eldest grandson of renowned potter Bernard Leach and son of David Leach, continues the family tradition at Muchelney Pottery in the heart of the Somerset Levels.

Contents

Helen Walsh, Curator of Ceramics CoCA, York Museums Trust.

Royal College

3 - 22

Wendy Kershaw, international ceramic maker based in Scotland.

Lambeth Wilds

23 – 25

Emily Wiles, ceramic maker based in Leicester.

Open Access

26 – 27

Gillian Lowndess

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Influence – Heidi Tarver

29 – 31

Clay College

32 – 34

One Year In New Designers

35 – 40

Connections

41

Southern Ceramic Group

43 - 45

Sandi Cowles, A student attending pottery classes at Penzance School of Art. Ella Watkins is now a contributing features writer for the magazine.

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July - September 2019

Emerging Potters – 15

Royal College The Royal College of Art in London produces a disproportional number of the world’s leading ceramic makers and has been a major force with a strong team of staff behind that success. The Ceramics & Glass course is housed in the Woo building, part of the new Battersea Campus of the Royal College of Art (RCA) adjacent to the River Thames. First impressions are that of a light and a spacious very futuristic building with the most modern facilities available to the students. Driving the course is the philosophy; a belief in the transformative power of material thinking, research and making to enrich our world in imaginative and meaningful ways. Drawing on the rich provenance of materials, processes and practices the course questions and proposes new scenarios to address social, cultural and material questions. The dynamic learning environment provides exceptional opportunities to explore the possibilities and perspectives of ceramics and glass within and beyond the traditions of art and design, individual practices and industry. The Programme enables students to expand their imagination, enhancing working practices and finding a professional voice. Over the next 19 pages we feature the work of each of the final year students both ceramic and glass.  

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Jinya Zhao RCA ‘non-existent existence’ The work spans sculpture, installation and design. Her intention is to playfully explore how glass can affect the viewer’s perception of reality and to engender emotional responses. For this collection she uses opaque and transparent layered blown glass to deliberately obscure the interior of the specific enigmatic forms. Additionally, she combines sharp angled metal in combination with soft curved glass to create a heightened sense of material balance. This creates a paradoxical interpretation of what is interior or exterior. To this end she aims to evoke the ‘non-existent existence’.

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Jennifer Hawthorn RCA She explores the relationship between herself and the clay. How it forces her body to do certain things. She does this in order to emphasize the moment between herself, the artist, and the material and the complexity of this relationship. Through manipulation, the surface of the clay can be made to look like animal hide, scar tissue or old skin. The forms are often corporeal, retaining the shape of my shoulders or a moment when her limbs have reached out; the clay is a way for her to leave a physical trace. The performative gestures in her work are both central and meaningful; the reason she creates them is to see the effect of intuitive actions on the clay. She intends the work to evoke feelings of empathy, in order for the viewer to interact with the work further, by exposing her physical struggle with clay.

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Aphra O’Connor RCA Aphra has titled this installation of ceramic and print works ‘Dynamic Equilibrium’ to reference Piet Mondrian’s thoughts on the unification of form. The bringing together of colour and form in coadunation and absolute equivalence is critical in allowing her to unite sculptural forms and drawn patterns in a new dimension that is both flat and solid. An interest in collections has lead Aphra to create a visual language out of drawings and found forms that are then translated into plaster moulds and used as an object generator. Through amalgamating these ceramic and print works to create a holistic way of seeing form, pattern and colour.

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Ji Huang RCA Glass is her chosen material but her sense of medium derives from a charge and fascination that runs through the adventure of becoming one with her chosen medium. Although you can feel and see glass there is a fascination that can only be sensed. Glass is an ancient material but it still contains excess that endlessly opens itself for new vectors of presentation. In this regard, she can see the way of working with glass as a struggle between inherited syntax and methods and experiments which might give rise to the production of the new work.

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Yuxun Ye RCA Light is a magic thing, you can see it but you can't really see it, sometimes it lies to you but you don't know it. As an important optical medium, glass is an excellent material for us to play with light. In his work, he wants people to see ordinary objects from an extraordinary perspective. His work shows the visual effects created by refraction through glass, and how light is affected by the optical properties of it. We can see an object because our eyes receive light from the surface of the object, but once the path of the reflected light is disrupted, our perception is disrupted. Are we still seeing the original object? Is what we are seeing the truth?

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Joseph Gabriel RCA Through exploring notions of residual and material accumulation, much of his concerns have been influenced by moving in an environment where he associates seasonal transition with sentimentality. Looking at detritus and ephemeral matters found in nature, he approached the work as an attempt to reify, memorialise and enliven what would otherwise be considered as trivial remains. Working with clay as a substrate for markings and immediate gestural traces, he investigated how this visual language articulates the tension between what was left behind and a sense of renewal—taking reference from dereliction and fragmented bits trying to find a coherent whole.

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Gina Baum RCA Experimentation is central to her practice. She has an innate curiosity that drives her to pursue the extraordinary and the unexpected that is hidden within a material and a process. The way that she works with porcelain can be intricate and detailed but also stressful. Tensions inevitably lead to a methodology of failure and although undesirable, these contradictions result in an emergence of a meticulous and intimate investment of time and care. For her creativity and care are inseparable. Final objects appear familiar yet unknown. They are in a state of transition with reminiscence of decay and decline often in need of support. Abject traits of the bodily and our surrounding environment are reflected within the colour, the texture and the form of each distinct piece.

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Ho Lai RCA Colour combinations, material experimentation and interrogation are prominent in her practice. She finds poetics in the transcendence of material and works approaching both subversive and experimental. ‘All go to the same place. All come from dust, and to dust all return.’ - Ecclesiastes 3:20 Drawing reference from the bible, where the human is made from dust by God she finds relations and poetics when researching into microscopic images, medical illustrations and cross section diagrams, where the human body is made from aggregates of cells, atoms and molecules. Using aggregates of coloured clay grog in various sizes, along with its dissolving quality as a visual metaphor, she intends to capture the fading state of the human and their manifestation of labour, forming the nonconforming with the combination of glaze and other ceramics material.

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Hao Ma RCA As a designer, he focuses on contemporary issues related to modern lifestyle, wanting to provide everyday products that improve people’s living environment. He also enjoys making products for a wider consumer market. The aim of his designs is to provide affordable products with great value to give intelligent solutions to everyday issues. The challenge is how to achieve mass production while still keep the beauty of refined craft. With a strong interest in craft, and in particular the use of ceramics to explore the materiality. His practice is about finding a balance between craft and modern production. Also, to respond to current issues of the world and create a rapid response through the designs. He has explored bone china as the lighting media and combined it with exchangeable modular design to create a customized experience for consumers. 12


 Anne Lykke RCA The work is autobiographical and draws upon life experience of love, family, memories and contemplations seen through the veil of her eternal companion; bipolar disorder. Through the work she opens a window to an inner space, a beautiful, ethereal and dreamlike world that veils the very real and often difficult subject matter of human existence. Her work starts with herself but does not end there, the subject matter reaches into humanity as a whole; how we experience the society we have created around ourselves and the psychological challenges it brings to us as human beings. Through the use of pattern, mark-making and illustration, she employs artistic languages that are anchored in the taxonomy of ceramic vessels which, since the earliest forms of pottery have always been used to leave a trail; a narrative of the culture and the people who made them, through the work she continues this tradition as an artist in the 20th Century.

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HoJung Kim RCA HoJung creates objects which have an awareness of the space in which they occupy through the movement of colours within a variety of forms. During studies at the Royal College of Art, she has found that through the exploration of differing processes inspiration is ignited and collections began. Developing surface qualities which explore movement and harmony, in which colours drift across the forms. The world is unfathomably diverse consisting of many cultures each with unique habits and traditions. This collection aims to capture something of this diversity through the touch of the maker’s hand, colour and clay. Just as communities gather across creation, fragments of blue, white, orange and so on carry across the canvas. The forms display arcing gestures that intermingle and separate.

 

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Chloé Rosetta Bell RCA She is a multidisciplinary designer working through the vantage point of an artist. Concerned with landscape as a relationship between craftsperson and material and the narratives surrounding food from its source to the table. She views objects as a nexus of communications between chefs, their suppliers and the landscape from which they work. This work often incorporates research, objects, writing and visual creations to develop rare projects with clients and their landscapes. Raw material is integral to her practice and there is a period in each project dedicated to study of a fundamental landscape which will inform and drive the collection. In her final year of study at the Royal College of Art she has been working with the two star Michelin restaurant The Kitchen Table, in Marylebone and one star Michelin restaurant Sosban & The Old Butchers, on the Isle of Anglesey. For each restaurant she has identified one of their suppliers to work with to develop a unique narrative and gain access to a key rural landscape. Collaborating with Porthilly Oyster Farm in Cornwall for the Kitchen Table and Halen Môn, Sea Salt on Anglesey for Sosban and The Old Butchers. This provides a unique opportunity for consumers to view a deeper narrative of the materials and people involved each project. The result will be sensory tableware for each restaurant with a strong narrative surrounding landscape and suppliers.

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Oliver Harding RCA He has been focusing on an experimental and unpredictable use of glaze within the kiln. The approach is focused on how he creates boundaries for this raw and unknowing world created by glaze. Through material investigation he has become aware of letting the material speak for itself and trying to create this notion of chance. He has created a series of works that show landscapes within glaze and form, using his whole body to create large scale work reinforces his relationship with the material. The forms that he creates are chosen by his instinctual processes and understanding of the clay knowing how each type will react through stress and tension in a different manner and focusing on the balance between order and chaos.

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Nico Conti RCA Having lived on the small island of Malta all his life meant that he was constantly surrounded by family and tradition. Leaving the faithful heat of the Mediterranean sun and building a life in the metropolis that is London has exposed him to vast resources and opportunities. This sudden shift into the contemporary has impacted his work the most. With the advancements in technology, art and craft they are affected by modern tools and machinery. He now looks at clay and seeks to find new ways of taking it into a new territory. He is drawn by conflicting themes that he strives to bind into his work; traditional and contemporary, stability and weakness, order and chaos. Each side has a little of the other; there are no clear solid boundaries that overlap and is where he draws most of his inspiration from. For Nico, clay is not just a material but also a tool that serves as a visual vocabulary that expresses his ideas.

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Guy Marshall Brown RCA Architecture is humanity's most prominent symbolic achievement, it physically towers over us in a manner that science, poetry or art does not. These achievements are constants on the horizon and therefore our lives, yet when tragic events cause damage to these buildings we are reminded of the true fragility of these ‘permanent’ structures. Considering this, and by taking significant reference from Joseph Rykwert’s The Dancing Column; which explores the connection between architecture and the human body, he has produced a body of work that evokes architectural features. Inclusions to the ceramic body introduce orchestrated faults: warping, fracturing and weeping forms metaphorically challenge the symbolism of these architectural forms. The forms appear to be decaying but while showing signs of an emergent force bursting through the surface.

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Ruiqi Dai RCA She hopes to explore the balance between sculptural form and functionality through making interactive and playful products that transform daily life gestures into ceremonial moments. The collection looks into people’s everyday dinning and drinking activities, Fountainia is a wine divider, when pouring wine from the top of the wine divider, the wine flows equally into six wine glasses, by creating this object, she hopes to explore the dynamic experience of drinking through sharing and pouring. Through the manipulation of the texture and optic quality of glass, Light Escaper transfers the playfulness of a daily object through the interaction with the users. Mirage is a centerpiece on the table that can serve fruits and desserts.

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Joshua Kerley RCA Joshua’s practice is concerned with themes of materiality and material resonance. Glass making has a rich and fertile heritage of imitating other materials, particularly those of higher value and status. Similarly, Joshua utilises the transformative power and metamorphic capabilities of glass to emulate the physical characteristics of other materials. However, Joshua references lower-value, modest materials, challenging the orthodoxies of material hierarchy, value and status. At the heart of Joshua’s practice is a desire to push the boundaries of kiln glass into new and exciting territories. With a practice that spans both art and design, he aims to reassess the traditional perceptions of glass; technically, aesthetically and materially.

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Paul Rowbottom RCA ‘Beyond Skin’ The interiority of glass, as a medium, allows the potential to go beneath the surface; visually and metaphorically. A unique quality that explicitly reveals or conceals new worlds; making the invisible appear visible. During the MA he has explored the threshold between traditional and digital processes. The static arabesque form of the kiln-cast glass is activated by the movement of the viewer, which is contrasted with blown- glass forms which arrest the kinetic movement of sprung steel. The work presented here aims to generate a range of emotional responses including; nuanced beauty and a sense of mutability; a constant flux between instability and equilibrium.

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Her PhD research into The Optical Perception of Image in Glass, has led to conceptually and practically analysis ‘how we see’, allowing her to in particular, examine visual depth perception. The combination of glass, as an optical material, and research into current 3D technologies, has facilitated the development, within her work, of a new visual language.

In the contemporary world 3D film and television, in addition to submerse virtual reality, are at the cutting edge of visual technology. For decades we have been captivated by the creation of such visual illusions/allusions from Renaissance artists’ capturing of the real world via linear perspective on the pictorial plane; to the auto-stereoscopic barrier methods, pioneered in 1692 by French painter BoisClair, and the ‘Op’ Art movement of the 1960’s, the creation of such imagery has fascinated artists.

This language speaks of a virtual space, where images are perceived to recede into glass and burst forward, superseding the limitations of the glass form they are contained within.

Over the last 10 years, within her own practice as a glassmaker, she too has become intrigued by glass’s illusory qualities and how an image is perceived when embedded in this optical material.

Helen Slater Stokes RCA ‘The Optical Perception of Image in Glass’

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Emerging Potters – 15 Lambeth Wilds

July - September 2019

Lambeth Wilds By Katie Spragg I have been developing my partnership with the museum since I invited their curator to my MA show at the RCA in 2016. Lambeth Wilds builds on a year long relationship, exhibition and workshops delivered by me at the Garden Museum working with hard to reach communities. During this time myself and Janine Nelson, the Head of Learning at the museum have developed a Clay for Dementia programme; weekly sessions providing people with dementia and their companions opportunities to learn new skills, socialise and make. As well as funning drop-in family clay workshops and it was their Big Draw artist in October 2017, where I ran a family workshop creating a collaborative animation from clay. There was an exhibition, titled Katie Spragg: Glasshouses, of my work at the museum in September 2018. I conceived and wrote this project with the support of the museum and applied for Arts Council Project Grant funding, which I was awarded in January 2019.

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Some of those involved had some experience while at school but this was limited. Some 17 young people attended over 6 sessions, some came to every session, some just to one or two depending on their other commitments. The group were aged from 13-22. This new project exists as two phases, it begins with a research residency at the museum, which will act as source material for phase two; a site-specific installation created as a permanent commission for the museum. During my residency I worked with the museum’s collection, starting with the illustrations of 18th Century botanist and Lambeth-local, James Soweby. Inspired by his vision to bring an appreciation of nature to a wider audience. Photo’s: Jon Holloway


Emerging Potters – 15 Lambeth Wilds

July - September 2019

I also explored the collection of nature diaries and pressed plant albums, as well as literature on wild plants. Alongside this I facilitated an in-depth engagement project with Lambeth Young Carers developing upon the theme of wild plants as metaphors for hope and resilience that reoccurs in my current work. The project focuses on wild, opportunistic plants and the way they may be overlooked or ‘hidden’. It aims to celebrate and make visible these plants and communities local to the museum that may also be overlooked or hidden within our wider society. Because of established relationship with the museum, I was able to expand the project into other areas of the learning programme, involving the Clay for Dementia participants, primary school children and residents of a care home in an inter-generational workshop, family visitors in a drop-in workshop for Hey Clay! (Crafts Council initiative) and the general public who visited the exhibition of the young people and my work and participated in nature walks and clay tile activities as part of London Craft Week.

Lambeth Wilds: Lambeth young carers workshop with Katie Spragg at the Garden Museum

During the project with the young people we looked at objects in the museum collection, searched the local area for wild plants; drawing and photographing those that we found, learnt clay modeling and animating techniques. The young people then brought this all together into a series of stop-frame clay animations and spoken words pieces (created with the guidance of the wonderful Eliza Legzdina) that considered connections been wild plants and being a young carer.

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Emerging Potters – 15 Lambeth Wilds

July - September 2019

These were screened together with an exhibition of their drawings and ceramic artworks at an event at the museum during London Craft Week. As part of the exhibition, alongside the young people’s research and completed animations were some of my research, drawings and ceramics tests for a major site-specific installation I am currently developing for the museum. This commission will be the final outcome of the project and will be launched at the beginning of October 2019. In October 2019, my large-scale ceramic installation Lambeth Wilds will open at the Garden Museum. It is the largest piece to date and it has been developed and conceived through an Arts Council funded research residency and connected workshops and project with the local community, includes Lambeth Young Carers. This project realises an ambition of mine to create work in direct response to the collaboration and participation of other people, in this case young people from Lambeth Young Carers and Garden Museum visitors and workshop participants. Throughout the project I have been collecting people's stories and memories of wild plants. These inform the plants featured in the commission.

Funded by an Arts Council Project Grant, the Garden Museum and Charlotte Fraser.

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Emerging Potters – 15

July – September 2019

Open Access

Photo’s on this page are from the shop. Phototgrapher: Artur Rummel

The development of ‘open access’ studios continues to make what was once a hobby into a viable business, and new devlopments at the Turning Earth Studios is an example.

‘In Production’ is a shared professional studio space created by Turning Earth as part of their mission to promote ceramic talent within London. Accommodating 28 makers at a time, it aims to recruit a mutually supportive group of some of the most talented makers London has to offer. The studio is designed for a mix of users: makers launching a professional career and wanting to learn studio skills in a safe environment before striking out on their own, professional artists who want an affordable long term work place, and advanced hobbyists who want to fire and glaze independently. Whatever their reason for joining, they want to enable makers to develop, and they are rightly very proud at Turning Earth of their track record of launching the careers of some of the UK's most exciting designer makers. In Production is a new, light-filled 2,600 sq ft site at Unit 14, Building 8 Argall Avenue (around the corner from the Turning Earth centre at 11 Argall Avenue) opened in May 2019. Not just satisfied with their third studio Turning Earth has now opened their first shop, Living Earth. It's in Vinegar Yard in London Bridge.

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Emerging Potters – 15 Open Access

July - September 2019

Turning Earth ‘In Production’ studios getting ready Shared facilities • 2,600 sq ft work space with abundant overhead light • 4 x L&L top-loading kilns • 1 x gas kiln (arriving July 2019) • 10 shimpo wheels • Making tables • Slab roller • Glaze spray booth • Pugmill • Extruder • Shop around the corner with glaze materials and packing supplies at cost • Kitchenette • Peer learning coordinator onsite to give you thorough inductions in all work processes. Ongoing support and training Full inductions and training on kiln firing and all machines in use at Turning Earth will be given to all makers when they start. Makers will be supported to learn to manage their studio needs as they grow an independent business. Photo’s: Artur Rummel

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Emerging Potters – 15 Centre of Ceramic Art

July - September 2019

Gillian Lowndes On the Edge 23 November 2019 - 7 June 2020 Centre of Ceramic Art, York Art Gallery Gillian Lowndes (1936-2010) was at the forefront of a new style of contemporary ceramics which explored the materiality of clay in London from the 1970s to 2000 and her abstract expressionist way of working offered a new way of understanding ceramics, bridging the gap between Craft and Art. Lowndes created sculptures out of found objects and materials which she added clay and glaze to before firing, referencing archaeology, material culture, recycling and the ephemeral. In recent years her reputation has grown and importance recognised as her work has inspired new generations of artists interested in ceramic materials and processes.

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Emerging Potters – 15 Heidi Tarver

July - September 2019

Influences… The way that leads to a lifetime interest in ceramics is often a long road with many different influences. For Heidi Tarver from the United States this is no exception. It started at the age of 15 years and struggling at school when her father built her a potters wheel because he could see that the process of creating was keeping her going during some difficult times. In fact she loved the wheel so much she dropped out of high school to spend hours making funky little pots in the garage. Eventual she did return to school and, later earning a PhD in sociology. She commented, “I think that little home-built wheel gave me my first taste of the joy and freedom that can come with being an artist, and laid the groundwork for all my future creative endeavors”.

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Her work as a maker has been deeply influenced by the Islamic artistic tradition, and in particular by the use of geometric patterns to create two and three dimensional objects that are visually complex, lyrical and alluring. The Islamic artistic tradition is nonrepresentational, however the patterns themselves are meaningful as a reflection of the natural and spirit world. She often works with traditional motifs from this tradition, but also creates her own patterns for her ceramic vessels. She uses a clay that is mostly porcelain with a bit of stoneware mixed in (Bmix cone 5 from Laguna Clay) All of her pieces, including cups, are handbuilt using slab construction techniques.


July - September 2019

Emerging Potters – 15 Heidi Tarver

Today her interest in geometric patterns informs all of the ceramic work, and unlike most potters she moves from surface pattern to form, rather than the other way around. Beginning by creating a pattern on paper, and from there creating stencils often as many as eight different stencils for a single pattern. These will later be used to recreate the pattern on the slab surface. She colours the clay and slip using Mason Stains, and then uses the stencils to create the pattern on a thin slab of clay. Once the pattern is “printed” onto both sides of the clay slab, she constructs the vessel.

Looking at her influences, she commented, “My mother spent a part of her childhood in Turkey and Iran, and growing up I was surrounded by objects from this tradition. These objects burrowed deep into my psyche and emerged in my work- rugs mostly, but also ceramic vessels, some drawings, metal vessels and trays, carved wood tables, some hand chased jewelry… the rugs are the objects I remember most clearly and as a child”. Her professional life has been varied, working as a teacher, political organiser, university professor in sociology, garden designer, and artist. The last 20 years or so have been dedicated to garden design and art. She has worked with, and shaping the natural world through garden design, which has influenced her ceramic/artistic work. As a garden designer and also a potter, the key to good design is always balance. In the garden, this is achieved through working with the natural contours of the earth, as well as the placement of contrasting natural forms and colors into loose patterns. In the creation of her vessels there is tighter control of the design elements, but the same basic principles apply.

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Emerging Potters – 15

July - September 2019

Heidi Tarver

Today she lives and works in Berkeley, California, a smallish city that is part of the San Francisco Bay Area, which has a vibrant artistic community. There she creates her ceramic work at The Potters’ Studio - a communal studio facility where members and students work side by side in a supportive, creative environment. There are many other artist spaces in the neighborhood, so lots of opportunities to experience what other artists are up to. She also spends quite a bit of time working in the small coastal community of Mendocino, CA, three hours north of the Bay Area and home of the Mendocino Art Center situated in a very rural area. There she finds inspiration in the quiet beauty of the California coastline, and getting away from the hum of the Bay Area is helpful.

Her work is mainly sold online, which has worked really well, and leaves much more time for what she loves, that being in the studio working! Occasionally she takes part in small local events, such as sale events for the studio, or fundraising events for organizations she cares about. heiditarver.com

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Instagram: @heiditarver


Emerging Potters – 15

Clay College Stoke

July – September 2019

Clay College The work of the first graduating students from the 2017-2019 cohort at Clay College Stoke will be presented at shows at the following:

Clay College Stoke, 2 to 6 August 2019 The department Store, Brixton, London 9 to 11 August 2019 Art in Clay, Hatfield, 16 to 18 August 2019 Clay College Stoke opened its doors on September 11th 2017, with a mission to teach practical pottery skills and design to an international standard and to create highly-skilled, selfsufficient and diverse makers. The college evolved from Adopt a Potter’s apprenticeship scheme, founded by potter Lisa Hammond MBE, to enable ceramic graduates to learn from successful professional potters, the technical and business skills necessary to become self-sufficient potters. Recognising that the focus in Higher Education had shifted from making and practical skills to concept and design, and the threat that this posed to the future of studio pottery, Lisa Hammond and Kevin Millward, a local designer and studio potter with 35 years teaching experience, resolved to set up Clay College to ensure that the skills and practical wisdom of a generation of Master Potters were not lost. Lisa, Kevin and the Trustees of Adopt a Potter set about raising the funds to set up the not for profit college and they are proud to say just 9 months later, in September 2017, the college opened its doors to 13 full-time students. The college was 90% funded by the pottery community; potters, ceramic suppliers, collectors, galleries and pottery associations, who all generously donated funds, equipment, time and pots.

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Emerging Potters – 15

Clay College Stoke

July - September 2019

The first cohort of students to complete the Clay College Diploma Course are: Peter Black, Billy Cave, Adam Hughes, Zeba Imam, Grace McCarthy, Peter Morris, Symy Ong, Marios Patriotis, Manda Payne, Eva Samuelsson, Rosie Tribe, Elaine Wells and Paul Wheeler. Student: Grace MCCarthy My time at Clay College has been a fulfilling experience. I feel that I have been able to build the foundations of my future pottery career. I have improved my throwing and making skills, but more than that I have been fully equiped with the roots of all my future making in terms of approaches and shapes. I can now come up with an idea and know what I will have to do to make a successful piece. Some of the most memorable aspects of the course have been able to build a wood and soda kiln and then learning how to fire these. The future holds a year of further learning and making. Clay College has allowed me to build contacts and connections which has opened the door for further experiences in the comming year to learn from and work alongside master potters. I have the ambition to develop my own successful pottery business. Student: Zeba Imam The last two years have been quite and intense ride. It has opened pathways in ceramics that I didn't know existed. Exposure to all the Master Potters that have visited over the last few years has given me a massive amount of information and ideas that will fuel the development of my work over the years ahead.

Clay College Stoke Port Street, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent ST6 3PE 01782 969 792 www.claycollegestoke.co.uk

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The course has given me the tools to follow my path. I have learned wheel throwing, slip decoration, glaze application, kiln firing, mark making and most important of all I have learned how to develop and refine ideas. I came to the college from India as I was looking for somewhere to help me turn a hobby into reality and the advert for the college came at the right time. Moving forward I plan to develop my work as a potter setting up my own studio initially in Stoke on Trent with the aim to earn my living from ceramics.


Emerging Potters – 15

Clay College Stoke

July - September 2019

Zeba Imam Plate

Billy cave Teapots

Far left: Wood Fired Kiln and pots from it.

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Emerging Potters – 15

July - September 2019

One Year In Possibly the greatest showcase for graduates from the creative sector in the UK has to be the New Designers show in London. It’s so big that it has to be run in two programmes over a two week period.

He commented, “Being selected for New Designers One year In, will be a new experience and way out of my comfort zone, but I am interested to see what conversations arise from my work in this design arena”.

The amount of interest generated has over the years attracted considerable sponsorship. Spanning every discipline in modern making, New Designers presents the work of more than 3,000 design graduates hand-picked from over 170 creative courses.

Another exciting piece of news for sam was being selected for AWARD in the British Ceramics Biennial, there he participated in two seasons of their summer schools whilst undertaking the MA.

Amongst the many activities during the show is the section called ‘One Year In’ which showcases the work of those who graduated the previous year. This year there are eight ceramic makers who have been chosen to take part. Sam Lucas: Since graduating from the MA Ceramics department at Cardiff School of Art in September 2018 with a distinction, he was lucky enough to win one of the graduate residencies at Fireworks clay studios, Cardiff. After being put on the reserve list for the Ceramic Art London show it spurred him on to apply for things. First was being selected for Rising Stars 2019 at New Ashgate Gallery in Farnham, Surrey. Most recently, he has been selected for the first RWA (Royal West of England Academy) Bristol Sculpture Open. As an emerging maker, he feels very privileged to be exhibiting alongside eminent sculptors. The work is very diverse and innovative using different media.

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Sam Lucas


Emerging Potters – 15 One Year In

July - September 2019

The work is based on the idea was born from working in clay with and alongside people with complex needs for most of my working life and how displacement is not only geographical, but can also be within one’s own skin. The weight and awkwardness of being in the body, the pain this alienation can cause and ironically the beauty and humour that can result from this diversity. He creates them in different ways depending on the mood. An intuitive maker he believe deeply in the haptic experience of using his hands and body. The results of this creative process are described as ‘sloppy craft’ but is integral to the sensory experience. In contrast, he enjoys the clean newness of slip cast forms which can form an interesting dialogue when placed together. Samantha Silverton: She studied for her Masters Degree at Bath Spa University in Ceramic Design and graduated in 2018. Currently she is working in further education as an art technician, but also finds time for her ceramics practice working from her studio in Wiltshire, Most recently she had a group exhibition at the Thrown Contemporary Gallery in London titled 'From This Land'. Her ceramic vessels are sculpural rather than functional, being slab built using terracotta clay. The work always begins with drawing and painting working in two dimensions before working in clay. She commented, “I love colour, mark making, textures and layering. I treat the ceramic surface as a canvas and work on large flat slabs using slips and glaze to build up depth of colour and the layers. Once I'm happy with the surface decoration I then construct the form, slicing sections that interest me. Each form is unique, I really enjoy the intuitive nature of making”.

Samantha Silverton

Bekky May: Born and brought up in Geneva Switzerland, she travelled the world for a decade after leaving school. Eventually she settled in rural East Sussex and resumed her studies in 2006 at the University of Brighton. She completed a Foundation Degree in Contemporary Craft Practice, followed by a BA in Art & Design, then set up her studio and began teaching ceramics. She mostly creates small functional ceramic pieces which she has sold at fairs and through her online shop.

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Emerging Potters – 15 One Year In

July - September 2019

Mitch Pilkington: She has already been selected for the Crafts Council's Hothouse 2019 scheme, added to this the winner of the Rising Stars 2019 prize, and was invited to be part of the New Designers One Year In 2019. Mitch has been selected for the Hepworth Wakefield Ceramics Fair, Earth and Fire, Art in Clay, Celebrating Ceramics and The Oxford Ceramics Fair.

Bekky May

In 2019 she graduated with a Masters of Art in Craft. During this time the focus was on developing a brand new body of work, to move away from small batch production and into the sculptural realm. During her MA she developed a design and making process which involves many different steps where she combines ceramics, wood and metal. The drive behind this new work was to investigate the deep impact that her experiences of the natural world has had on her during her travels. For her the “Biophilia Effect” is essentially our primeval human instinct for a connection with nature and its healing power. This resulted in her creating a unique form of artwork where no two pieces are the same, with the work aiming to be hung on walls in restaurants, hospitals, corporate spaces and private homes. Bekky divides her time between lecturing in ceramics at the University Centre Hastings and running her creative business.

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Mitch studied ceramic design some years ago and although ceramics is her passion now her children have grown up the demands on her time has lessened. She commented, “Although this year is challenging with so much happening I wouldn't have it any other way. I've waited twenty years for this”. Mitch Pilkington


Emerging Potters – 15 One Year In

July - September 2019

She is drawn to the organic, natural forms of coastal forays, and the worn, dry spirals of weathered conch shells, gathered on warm Caribbean beaches. Her ceramics are instinctively hand-formed in an emotionally intuitive and mindful process using methods such as coiling and pinching. Crafts Council Hothouse 2019 Alumni Rising Stars 2019 – Award Winner, New Ashgate Gallery New Designers, One Year In 2019. Jane Samuel: Her sculptures are hand built using slabs of stoneware clay, for the outer form, within these forms she places shards of porcelain; both of these elements are then brought together using a volatile lava glaze. There are two layers to her work, the visual inspiration which comes from the coastline of Anglesey where she lives, where razor clam shells and the multiple layers of fragile mother of pearl make up oyster shells. Individually these shards of mother of pearl, are extremely fragile but when layered together have a hidden strength. The combination of these make up the body of her vertical forms made using stoneware clay and shards of porcelain along with the lava glaze which have had the surface ground back to reveal the hidden layers of porcelain and the beautiful bubbles below, giving the appearance of movement around the porcelain shards, just as the sea moves around rocks or travels up the beach. Keeping a limited palette with the outer form, she colours the stoneware clay using oxides which in turn will bleed into the glaze giving blues, greens and occasionally reds and violets. Taking the vertical form through a brick saw reveals exactly what is happening within that piece. The cut edges are then taken through numerous grits until I gain the contrasting polished edge. Currently she is showcasing in Mostyn Gallery in Llandudno and is represented by Northern Makes Gallery in Macclesfield.

Jane Samuel

Anne-Laure Cano: She started evening classes in ceramics to see if shewould be able to actually make something with my hands, because at school to be making anything – the French educational system wasn’t focussing at all on teaching how to make and create things. When starting ceramics she was working in Cambridge in a cultural centre, as the event manager, organising all sorts of artistic events: concerts, film screenings, museums tours. Before that she worked in France on an open-air exhibition project in Cannes and also had the opportunity to work briefly for the Cannes film festival.

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Emerging Potters – 15 One Year In

July - September 2019

When she finally had the time to start learning, she chose clay. For someone who never got near making before, touching clay and shaping a raw material with bare hands was really attractive. Starting evening classes eight years ago, I was one of the first people to sign-up to become a member at Turning Earth when they opened their first studio in 2013. She commented, “I was making functional tableware at that time. In addition to developing my knowledge of clay at Turning Earth, I was also helping ceramicist Louisa Taylor in her studio during my free time”. In 2014 she left Turning Earth and shared Louisa Taylor’s studio. A year later, in 2015, she was selected by City Lit, and after studying there for two years graduated in 2017. Influences include Gillian Lowndes and her experimental approach to clay as well as Neil Brownsword’s work, as well as Anselm Kiefer. Today she shares a studio with Aude Van Ryn (whom she met at City Lit) in Kentish town, London.

Fflur Owen

Fflur Owen: Influenced by textures within the natural world her current body of work focuses on objects and textures found in the sea, as well as artefacts collected along the shores. She imagines the work as live objects, documenting every piece and numbering them as a scientist would, they are her sculptural specimens. Fusing leather with other organic materials, hand building forms and patterns that embody the alien beauty of the deep ocean, the work is organic and instinctive; one piece often leads to the next. Whilst researching marine wildlife she has become aware of the issues that are constantly threatening the oceans. Through the choice of colour: deep sea navy in contrast to a bleached ivory tone, highlighting the influences of coral bleaching  and the effects of global warming and pollution on tropical reefs. The monochrome colour scheme is a sombre reminder of the deteriorating conditions of the seas. A graduate of the Royal College of Art in 2013 she has gone on to win many awards including Second Prize Galeri Caernarfon, November 2018.

Anne-­‐Laure   Cano  


Emerging Potters – 15 One Year In

Laura Plant: Originally studied BA (Hons) Ceramics at Camberwell, graduating in 2010 and then in 2018 graduated from MA Ceramic Design at Staffordshire University. Since last year she has made a collection for the National Trust, as a result of winning their prize at New Designers last year. The collection is four pieces decorated with watercolour illustrations painted at Shugborough Hall and is exclusive to the Trust. It is available online and in nine properties local to Staffordshire. She is very process driven. Loves experimenting and exploring the unique qualities of ceramics pouring the glaze over the pieces to create a watercolour wash effect. The balance between chance and control means whilst the design is the same every piece is a bit different.

July - September 2019

Leaving part of the ceramic body exposed reveals the beautiful bone china that is often hidden beneath glaze. She commented, “I like the contrast between the two surfaces, and the subtle differences in the print over the glaze and unglazed sections. The shapes of this collection began as a reinvention of traditional ceramic shapes but evolved to be more inspired by blown glass and metal work”. The forms are functional but not very practical for everyday use, so she elevates everyday object to become something decorative. Florals have been a recurring theme in the work since beginning her MA. Being greatly inspired by nature and the British countryside having grown up on a farm she wants to share these influences through the designs. This has developed from traditional print imagery into 3D printed forms, cast in terracotta and a floral inspired geometric pattern which she launched at ‘One Year In’.

Laura Plant

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July – September 2019

Emerging Potters – 15

Connections Craft Potters Association 63 Great Russell Street London WC1B 3BF +44 (0)2031370750

This special group exhibition features five Japanese makers at work in the UK, bringing Eastern influences to British ceramics. The works on show reflect a diverse range of forms and styles, from fine-art sculpture to wabi-sabi vessels and minimalist tea ware, all connected by a common visual language.

Until 20 July 2019 Ikuko Iwamoto Hiro Takahashi Kaori Tatebayashi Yo Thom Motoko Wakana

Ikuko Iwamoto – image by Juliet

Yo Thom – image by Will Thom

Kaori Tatebayashi – image courtesy of the artist

Motoko Wakana – image by Dee Honeybun 41

Hiro Takahashi – image by Dee Honeybun


Emerging Potters – 15

July - September 2019

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July - September 2019

Emerging Potters – 15

Southern Ceramic Group Each year local pottery groups up and down the country are working towards their annual show. Each group have a diverse mix of people all working together, which is probably one element that the public do not see. This year the Southern Ceramic Group who are based in Chichester, will showcase over 600 exhibits from 60 ceramicists, including the work of several new potters. The show has an added atmosphere as it takes place in the Bishop's Palace at Chichester Cathedral. This popular annual show attracts more people each year, and last year 3,000 people attended, which is a testimonial to the quality and range of work varying from traditional functional pottery to figurative sculpture. To add to the experience each item displayed tells its own distinct story, reflecting the attitude and inspiration of the maker, as well as the chosen technique to produce the work. These range from the choice of the glaze and clay to the methods of kiln firing employed. The Southern Ceramic Group was started in 1975 by a small group of enthusiastic potters. Today it is a thriving group with an ever-expanding membership of over 150 potters.    

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Cabby Luxford


July – September 2019

Emerging Potters – 15 Southern Ceramic Group

The exhibition co-ordinator, Prof. Vasu Reddy commented, “Our members come from a huge range of professions - from dancers to engineers and doctors to psychologists. The influence of the individual professional backgrounds is sometimes very evident in the work! I am a developmental psychologist, studying early communication between babies and adults and very interested in what makes dialogue. The process of making - or 'creative thinging' as some have called it - is a dialogic process, many experienced potters have reported this feeling that they are in conversation with clay. I am in love with black clay and with ash glazes - though not on the same pots! Exploring different reduction firing effects and especially combinations of oxides and ash glazes is fascinating. All this on wheel thrown pots”. Another maker, Kevin Akhurst commented, “My degree is in Materials Science and I spent almost my whole career in power generation - initially in technical roles and later in managerial posts. I have no doubt that my Materials Science background helped to foster my interest in ceramics, but my interest is by no means merely technical. I am fascinated by trying to understand what makes a pot beautiful - both the form and the surface. I also get a lot of pleasure from the practical process of making, and throwing in particular. “At our Bishop's Kitchen events we have aspired to achieve art-gallery standards in the display and in the quality of work. A lot of effort goes into the organisation - dealing with applications to exhibit from well over 50 of our members, organising the venue, arranging for the artworks to be delivered, displayed and sold, arranging for a rota of exhibitors to steward the event at all times for more than two weeks, liaising with the Bishop's Palace at Chichester, holding a private view event, looking after all the money aspects, etc”.

Vidya Thirunarayan  

Vasu Reddy  

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July – September 2019

Emerging Potters – 15 Southern Ceramic Group

Left: Marion Stewart Above: harriet Wesley Top right: Kevin Akhurst

Cabby Luxford is another maker who commented, “I strive to make pieces that evoke the excitement I experience when I discover pattern, shapes, colours and form that occurs within nature or sometimes those that have been transformed by mans impact on the environment. I love the random, uncontrolled results from unusual firing techniques including Indian Smoke and Raku”. Originally trained in dance Vidya Thirunarayan commented, “I have always been attracted by the ‘hand-made’ and the thoughts, emotions, knowledge, culture, skill and imagination it holds. “I am in my element when I am making something, whether it is a dance movement or a clay pot. It is the process rather than the end product that continues to engage me. Once the process of making is complete my interest fades. So I sell my pots. In recent years I have started creating performance work combining clay and dance”.

Southern Ceramic  Group,  Annual   Show,  Bishop’s  Kitchen,  Chichester   And what does the future hold for the group? Cathedral  PO19  1PX.      Saturday  27   This year they plan to expand by holding a July  -­‐  Sunday  11  August  2019                                     second exhibition in Winchester in the autumn. To attract a younger age group to their Open  Daily  10.00am  -­‐  5.00pm,       workshops they are planning an initiative to help introduce young people of school age to Free  Entry   ceramics.

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July – September 2019

Emerging Potters – 15

Potfest in the Park 26th to 28th of July

Over 100 exhibitors invited from all over Europe and beyond. All with very distinctive individual styles, all passionate about working with clay. The venue, Hutton-in-the-Forest, is a cultural destination in itself with it’s historic house, walled garden, topiary terraces and woodland walks. The ceramics festival takes place in and around marquees in front of the castle, with the potters special competition pieces on the lawn, juxtaposing ancient architecture and modern ceramics Hutton-in-the-Forest lies 5 miles northwest of Penrith, Cumbria (M6 junction 41) – on the edge of the stunningly beautiful Lake District National Park. CA11 9TH Potfest in the Park 2019 – July 26th-28th

Fri, Sat & Sun 10am – 5pm daily

If you  would  like  to  join  the  free   mailing  list  for  Emerging  Potters   contact:   paulbailey123@googlemail.com   Back  copies  of  the  magazine   can  be  found  on  the  ISSUU   platform.    

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Profile for Paul Bailey

Emerging Potters magazine July to September 2019  

Modern ceramic makers - in this issue are reviews of the RCA show and New Designers show One Year In. Mainly based UK feature but with a USA...

Emerging Potters magazine July to September 2019  

Modern ceramic makers - in this issue are reviews of the RCA show and New Designers show One Year In. Mainly based UK feature but with a USA...

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