Thursday 29 October 2015

Adela Powell

The highlight of the Oxford Ceramics Fair this year was the work of Adela Powell. I had never seen her work before. This was her first time at Oxford - I hope there are many more to come, as I would love to see more of her work and how she develops.

From Powell's website: 'Universal patterns, textures and forms in nature, where science and art are inseparable, are my constant source of inspiration.... I am also more drawn to fragmentation and erosion, which I attempt to incorporate in my work, allowing fortuitous accidents and influences from the subconscious to enrich the process. Forms often convey a sense of metamorphosis'.


The inside of the shell has this luminous, creamy look and texture that real shells have, and I don't know how she managed it. There is a small mark of gold on the inside. She told me that it's a flaw that she decided to cover with gold. It reminded me of Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver or platinum. It's a philosophy that treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.

The outside of the shell is gorgeous - I asked her how she gets that result and she said that she places the wet clay on sand taken from a beach, then stretches it, thus achieving this texture


This is the back of the shell - very different and equally gorgeous. I said to her that it was a shame that one could not immediately see this and she said that 'we don't have to see everything'. And she's right - it's like a secret, something hidden that you know is there.

So many different textures in one piece, and yet, they all complement each other without being de trop.

looking closer

Another shell

the imperfections on the inside have been covered again, with silver this time

a closer look at the outside of the shell

a third shell

a closer look at the outside.

I had a look at her website when I got home after the fair. Her torsos are divine. She is exhibiting in Bath in the spring, and the dates are already in my diary as I have to have a look at those torsos.

Tuesday 27 October 2015

More from the Oxford Ceramics Fair - 2015

Yesterday's post on the Oxford Ceramics Fair was getting too long, so here is some more...
Katie Braida:



Rachel Wood:

a look inside
Jack Doherty:

You can find out more about Doherty's vessels and the process of making them,  here



Emily Myers:

Eddie Curtis:

You can see more of Curtis' work here, here and here




Amazing textures

Sasha Wardell:

Jin Eui Kim:


Looking at these works make you dizzy. I talked to the artist and he said his ceramics are about challenging perceptions of reality. I had to touch them to see if the surfaces were smooth or whether they are ridged, following the line of the decoration - they are ridged. I had to touch the black dots in the middle to see if there is a hole there - there is not. So, most of these are not vessels, but sculptures.


The lid in these jars is reversible - you can see both ways of using them in the two jars here.

Bridget Drakeford:


Monday 26 October 2015

Oxford Ceramics Fair - 2015

It's that time of year again when we can feast our eyes on beautiful ceramics from over 60 makers at the Oxford Ceramics Fair. Such a pleasure! Some ceramicists who had not exhibited before, and as usual, outstanding quality of work. Very difficult to photograph, as the whole place is packed with pots and people, but I have cropped as much as possible to try and isolate the works.
Tony Laverick:





Yo Thom:

Margaret Curtis:





detail - it's like a gash

Akiko Hirai Collingwood:

I always look forward to seeing Hirai's moon jars. You can see one from a previous year here . This one is very different, rough, with a very rich texture.

Richard St. John Heeley:


I like the way these pots are presented.


Karen Downing:


More in the next post.