Friday 18 June 2021

Margaret Curtis - The Beauty of Imperfection

'My current body of work is the antithesis of the mass produced and immaculately mastered and seeks to avoid perfection. This is where my interest lies, with the beauty that can be from ageing, natural decay, or formed by surfaces that have become weathered, patinated with wear, or uniquely deformed'.

The Beauty of Imperfection, by Margaret Curtis

at the Stratford Gallery in Broadway.

A huge collection of Margaret Curtis' ceramics on the first floor. Absolutely stunning. I love Curtis' work and have more of her ceramics than any other potter, except for Christy Keeney. It's the depth of the glaze that stands out - I think of Margaret Curtis' pots as abstract paintings on clay.

Margaret Curtis has had no formal training but is self-taught. Initially she produced a range of domestic wares and learned in the process. Later in her career she established herself as an independent artist with a commitment to making ceramics that would fulfil her passion for work that is spontaneous and direct. 

'My best works are created when I oversee the process, allowing the work to flow automatically without forcing a result. I like to identify the incidental and pursue the outcomes that have a simple aesthetic, not too refined but not overtly austere. Working with a relaxed and calm state of mind I am able to aoid the unecessary, leaving only the essential'.

Squeezed pink bowl with cross

Squeezed Matt Shino Bowl

Celadon Flat Vase

Celadon Squeezed Bowl

Matt Shino Bowl

Squeezed Bowl Pink Cross

Matt Bowl

Squeezed Bowl

Celadon Flat Vase

'I first decided to experiment with using coarse black clay, following a visit to the home and studio of Miwa Kyusetsu X1, in Hagi, Japan in 1999. Miwa was a national living treasure so it was an extraordinary privilege to sit in his tea room and be shown three of his Chawan. I was struck by the beautiful snow-like whiteness of the shino glaze combined with dark, blackened bare patches on the body of the clay and enjoyed the harmony he had created between these contrasting materials'.

Celadon Flat Vase

Celadon Flat Vase

Celadon Chawan

Celadon Flat Vase

Celadon Flat Vase

Celadon Plates:


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