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Potter of the Month (February - April ) - Amy Cooper

1.     What general skills & techniques do you use ? (eg., throwing etc.,) ?

The work is slip cast porcelain, the moulds are made from rolled and sculpted clay models. Each piece is individually altered either when raw or at bisque.  

  To create the illustrated work the plain 'blanks' are bisque fired before a painstakingly hand drawn  stencil is applied. After which, the piece is sandblasted until the design stands proud. The stencil is removed before high firing which allows the inherent translucency of the porcelain to create a soft silhouette visually as well as texturally. Finally they are diamond polished before being wired up.

  Alternatively, the pieces are manipulated when soft out of the mould, piercings, bumps and dents are coaxed through the still malleable clay. The piece is then allowed to dry out before being fettled, sponged and bisque fired. After bisque the pieces are wet sanded to create a blemish free surface and either glazed with a crawling glaze that creates a texture like cracked earth or left naked to be diamond polished after a second firing. All my work is currently fired to 1250 °C in an electric kiln. I use Valentines Special Porcelain .

 

       2.     Tell us about your experience and knowledge

 

·      Where have you studied and learnt your skills

I studied foundation Art and Design at Falmouth School Of Art and then Ceramics and Sculpture at The University of Wolverhampton. I graduated in 2002 with a first class honours degree.

·      How long have you been a potter

I've been working professionally since 2003 first in Brighton, then Devon and now Cornwall. I went into partnership with my husband in 2010.

·      Who has inspired you along the way

I am drawn to other artists who have been inspired by nature. I am inspired by a wide selection of Artists, Ceramicists, Printmakers and Sculptors. I love the flair and decorative quality of Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts artists including Mucha, William De Morgan and William Morris. I am moved by the strength power and tenderness of Jacob Epstein's sculptures and also the quietness of land artists, Andy Goldsworthy and Peter Randall Page.

British contemporary ceramics is such a wonderfully rich field,  I love Paula Downing and Eddie Curtis's dramatic forms and organic surfaces, Peter Beard's work is awe inspiring, Maggie Barnes sea iinfluenced sculptural pieces are beautiful, Justine Allison's quiet translucent perfection and Margaret O'Rourke's fantastic light pieces. I could go on! 

 

 

 

 

3.  

Explain your work

 

·      What has been your proudest piece that you have produced and why.

A few years ago I had the opportunity through The Society Of Designer Craftsmen to create some pieces for an exhibition at The William Morris Gallery in Walthamstowe. I was honoured to exhibit my work in such a prestigious venue as William Morris is a hero of mine. The brief was 'Everyday Encounters'  I was inspired by common flora that do not necessarily warm the public heart but are nevertheless an important part of the ecosystem as a whole. I created a series of pieces based on this train of thought.

 

4.     What are your future ambitions ?

I plan to continue to develop my porcelain work, I hope to move away from slip casting to some extent and back to a more hands on approach to the form. 

I also look to work in other clays again, I would love to make some work on a monumental scale as I did in brick clay at University. 

 

 

Amy Cooper

amy@amycooperceramics.co.uk

www.amycooperceramics.co.uk

07799 073014

View Amy Cooper Ceramics's gallery

Visit their website: amycooperceramics.co.uk