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Potter of the Month (Sept/Oct/Nov 2015) - Clare Wakefield Ceramics

1. What general skills & techniques do you use?
Most of my pieces are thrown, I then pierce and sculpt waves. Pods begin as pinch pots and their long tails are pulled in the same way a handle is pulled.

 

2. Tell us about your experience and knowledge
I learnt to throw whilst at Kent Institute of Art and Design but chose to concentrate on hand building whilst on my degree course in Cardiff. I had excellent tutors including Geoff Swindell, Mick Casson, Alan Barrett-Danes and Peter Beard. I graduated in 1991 and have been potting ever since!

During my studies I realised I would like the throwing and handbuilding to combine forces somehow. I continued making sculptural work after leaving Cardiff and began to apply similar sculptural aspects to thrown forms. This fed ideas out in a new direction that was still very close to the theme of my work. Mixing the throwing and the hand building feels like it provides endless possibilities for new ideas and combinations.

I first saw Antonia Salmon's work on a school trip to the CPA gallery when I was 18 and was completely entranced by it. I thought her work peaceful, serene, gentle, powerful and uncomplicated. She is still the artist I most admire.

 

3. Explain your work
I work with Audrey Blackman porcelain and bisque fire to 1000c followed by a glaze firing at around 1240c, although I do vary the glaze temp fractionally depending on the fragility of the pieces. For glazing I often spray but also use brushing and pouring at times.

The culmination of ideas from projects leading up to my degree show didn't come together until 6 weeks before the deadline. On realisation I knew exactly the pieces I wanted to make and how I wanted to display them. This was when my sea pods first came to life for me. During the degree show I had one of them suspended with 'invisible' line about a foot above its own plinth to appear weightless as if drifting through water. This one piece feels very key to all my work that has followed.

 

4. What are your future ambitions?
To pot for at least as long as Lucie Rie and to continue to immerse myself in the wonderful challenges of the porcelain and the sea. 


To watch Clare's demonstration video filmed at Art in Clay 2015 click on the below...

View Clare Wakefield Ceramics's gallery

Visit their website: www.clarewakefieldceramics.com