Get fired up by pots

London Evening Standard (West End Final B) - ES Homes and Property - - Ceramic Art London - By Corinne Julius

RECORD num­bers of peo­ple are col­lect­ing and mak­ing pots, thanks in part to The Great Pot­tery Throw Down on BBC Two, which has trig­gered a rush for places in ce­ram­ics classes.

The Ce­ramic Art Lon­don fair, now in its 13th year, at­tracts pot­ters from around the world but only 90 are se­lected to show their work in the airy atrium of the renowned Central Saint Martins art and de­sign school in King’s Cross.

The work cov­ers the full panoply of con­tem­po­rary ce­ram­ics, from the strictly func­tional to both fig­u­ra­tive and ab­stract sculp­tural pieces. It’s a sell­ing show, fea­tur­ing pieces from es­tab­lished and emerg­ing mak­ers alike. All vis­i­tors are wel­come just to browse, ask ques­tions or at­tend a range of lec­tures and dis­cus­sions, and it’s a favourite with buy­ers from the big stores seek­ing new de­sign­ers.

Jack Do­herty, a vet­eran of the fair, cre­ates bowls in earth tones with clouds of turquoise, but for many mak­ers, greys and blues with a hint of yel­low are this year’s favourites.

Jill Shad­dock makes small stack­ing bowls in greys and blues, and el­e­gant cups in soft yel­lows. Derek Wil­son uses a sim­i­lar pal­ette, of­ten with a line or two of strong, con­trast­ing colour. This Fifties colour­way is picked up by Kyra Cane, who uses glazes in soft grey and acid yel­low on white. So­phie Cook makes del­i­cate, eti­o­lated porce­lain bot­tles in greens and blues, which seem to glow from within.

COLOUR POPS

Sara Moor­house spe­cialises in con­i­cal bowl forms with bands of high-gloss, eye-pop­ping colour, while So­phie South­gate places in­tense turquoise blue, orange, yel­low and gold at the cen­tre of her jewel-like pots, in­spired by land­scape, colour and geom­e­try.

Play­ing with per­cep­tion is the key to Jin Eui Kim’s work. His plat­ters with con­cen­tric cir­cles of colour

con­i­cal earth­en­ware bowl with bands of bright, high-gloss colour, by Sara Moor­house and cut lines con­fuse and con­found the eye, rather like Op art.

HOMEWARE

Se­vak Zar­gar­ian makes bowls that look as if they are made of ter­razzo, but are in fact cre­ated by lam­i­nat­ing and in­lay­ing ce­ramic. Much of the more “re­strained aes­thetic” ce­ramic has an East­ern feel. Sue Pryke spe­cialises in el­e­gant and prac­ti­cal Japanese-style tea ser­vices.

Tac­tile qual­ity is very im­por­tant to Hyu-jin Jo, who carves the sur­face of her sim­ple, el­e­gant teaware with in­tri­cate non-uni­form tex­tures, while Kiho Kang presses pat­terns into the out­side of her work us­ing just her fin­gers.

LINED UP

In­spired by tra­di­tional east­ern forms, Adam Frew dec­o­rates his ves­sels with hand-drawn lines. Sim­i­larly, Ali Tom­lin throws un­com­pli­cated pots, work­ing on the dry, chalky sur­face us­ing stains, ox­ides and slips, splash­ing or sand­ing and in­lay­ing lines, cre­at­ing un­pre­dictable marks. She sands the ves­sels be­tween fir­ings to give the porce­lain a pa­per-like, tac­tile qual­ity.

No one makes porce­lain more finely or thin­ner than Alison Gautrey, yet her translu­cent eggshell-thin bowls marked with sparse, swirling lines are ro­bust enough for the freezer. Lau­ren Nau­man makes ves­sels that look like skele­ton bas­kets, sway­ing in the wind, while Matt Davis’s strik­ing “pix­e­lated” bone china ves­sels look vir­tual but are en­tirely real.

A SENSE OF HIS­TORY

Raewyn Har­ri­son draws maps and panora­mas on her boxes and ves­sels, and her trawls through the archives of El­iz­a­bethan street maps and 18th­cen­tury views of Lon­don form the ba­sis of her Mud­lark­ing se­ries.

Robert Cooper is even more di­rectly in­spired by the Thames. An in­vet­er­ate mud­larker, he uses his finds, such as an­cient pot­tery shards, cup han­dles and saucer frag­ments, fus­ing them to­gether to cre­ate one­off can­dle­sticks.

Ce­ramic Art Lon­don runs from this Fri­day to Sun­day at Central Saint Martins, 1 Gra­nary Square, King’s Cross, NC1. Fri­day and Satur­day, 10am to 6pm; Sun­day, 10am to 5pm. Adults £15; con­ces­sions £13; 16-25s £10; un­der­16s go free; three-day pass £35. All tick­ets in­clude free exhibition guide and cat­a­logue (ce­rami­cart­lon­don.com).

£2,500: above, jewel-like pots in­spired by geom­e­try from So­phie South­gate’s Spec­trum se­ries

£150-£200: So­phie Cook’s del­i­cate thrown porce­lain bot­tles range in height from 20cm-55cm

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