Ceramic Review Editor chooses her 5 Festival Favourites
Written: 28 April 2017
Karen Bray, Editor of Ceramic Review, the international magazine for contemporary and international ceramics, chooses her Five Festival Favourites
Mitch’s hand built sculptural vessels are inspired by the beautiful abstract forms of worn shells and rock formations found on the coast in North Devon where she lives with her husband and two children. Having studied Ceramics at Falmouth School of Art & Design and spent some years working in the Caribbean and Mediteranean on sailing yachts, you can see Mitch’s passion and affinity with the sea and coastline in the beautiful organic shapes and glazes she uses in her work. Mitch is one to watch…
I love the surface patterns of the hand-thrown and slab-built porcelain tableware and vessels made by Alison West using the ancient process of saggar firing. A saggar is a container packed with organic combustible material in which pots are buried. The sagger is then sealed and placed in a gas kiln and fired slowly. Alison creates her natural surface patterns with organic material such as ferns, seaweed, leaves, grasses and natural occurring minerals.
Josie has been throwing her functional earthenware tableware on the same momentum wheel she made at Chesterfield College of Art and Technology in the 1970s. Her lovely traditional pieces are decorated either with thin white slip, which lets the colour of the earthenware body through, or with thick slip that is brushed on to the pot while it is rotating on the wheel creating wonderful textures.
Combining folkloric naivety with technical prowess, I find Paul Young’s work charming. Ranging from decorative slipware dishes to playful sculptures of pigeon fanciers, lions, mermaids and more, the influences of folk art and eighteenth-century Staffordshire ware are felt throughout Paul’s practise. There’s a quality of joyousness in Paul’s work that we could all do with a little more of in our lives.
Like his father, Jack works in porcelain. He has created an interesting range of geometric slip cast planters, alongside lightshades and candleholders that successfully harness the translucency of porcelain. I’m impressed by the strong design consciousness of this early career maker – Jack is only 24 years old – and look forward to seeing what comes next.
Find out more about Ceramic Review at ceramicreview.com