Christmas 2015 at the Contemporary Ceramics Centre

The gallery is now filled with a huge range of beautiful work from many of our CPA members, with much of the new work priced under £150.  Here is a selection of some of the pieces from our 'Dear Santa...' exhibition and an introduction to some of the artists involved.

Clare Crouchman

Wall Piece Clare Crouchman
Clare Crouchman's abstract wall hung 'ceramic paintings' feature fascinating rhythmical and repetitive patterns in a subtle oranges, browns, greens, reflecting as Clare says 'the underlying interconnectedness of the universe'.  Here is some of her work in the gallery now and her artist's statement:

"In my work I draw upon the intricate shapes and textures in the landscape for inspiration. I also reference cities, labyrinths, mathematical patterns and trees.
Wall Piece Clare Crouchman
My appreciation of nature is in the intricate detail and this close study has led me to look at different ways of interpreting the world around me.  
My choice of materials and working methods are crucial to the desired outcomes. Ceramic materials go through a series of transformational processes, paralleling those of the natural world, which bring a strong physical dimension to my work. Collagraphs and drypoint etchings produce direct, spontaneous and subtle images."



  Dennis Farrell

Dennis Farrell lives and works in rural Wales in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. His textured, slab built vessels in dark clays have beautiful painterly surfaces that are, he writes, a response "to light, line, colour and texture observed in rural and coastal landscapes".

Vessel Dennis Farrell
Dennis goes on: "weathered and eroded structures with their sea-washed and weather-worn surfaces are of particular interest. 

Other themes express an impression of place through form, sgraffito techniques and over-painted surfaces. Forms are produced by wheel-thrown and hand-built techniques using red earthenware blended with stoneware crank or black clays. 

Vessel Dennis Farrell
Surfaces are developed by applying coloured engobes, over-painting with underglaze colour which are over-painted with matt or glost transparent glazes and fired to 1120 degrees centigrade. Post-firing some surfaces are re-worked using diamond pads."


Jane Maddison

Jane Maddison's porcelain vases have darker shiny interiors in subtle blues and greens and the outer surfaces are freely painted with delightful birds perching and fluttering on winter twigs and branches.

Vase Jane Maddison
Jane lives and works in Lincolnshire producing both sculptural and domestic ware using a variety of techniques and various methods of firing including raku and salt glaze.  Having run the ceramics department and taught at Melton Mowbray College for 16 years, she produces individual ceramics for several galleries in the UK and abroad.




 Ken and Valerie Shelton

Ken and Valerie Shelton make all their work by hand; each piece is individually crafted in their Cheshire studio.

Bowl Ken and Valerie Shelton
Ken makes the pots from fine white earthenware. Pots thrown on the potter’s wheel are left to dry to a “leather hard” state and are then turned on the wheel, trimming away excess clay to produce the final shape and a smooth polished surface.

Valerie decorates each piece with free-hand painting using ceramic colours; no transfers or guidelines are used so each piece is truly unique. A transparent glaze is applied over the colour and the pot is fired again in the kiln to over 1100°C.


Priscilla Mouritzen 

Danish artist Priscilla Mouritzen's wood fired porcelain pinch pots are each beautifully decorated with engobe glazes in soft browns,
oranges, blacks.
Teabowl Priscilla Mouritzen
Teabowl Priscilla Mouritzen
Originally from South Africa, Priscilla set up her ceramics studio in London in 1968, spending a decade here in the UK then moving to Denmark.


Richard Heeley

Each of Richard Heeley's rectangular porcelain platters is a painting in itself. Richard's designs are developed from his paintings of the North Wales landscape.
He writes: "I practice free flowing brushwork. I spend long hours repeating my designs to gain a fluid feel and simplicity that matches the thrown clay and fits as part of the pot, working in harmony with the form.

Dish Richard Heeley
My work is Influenced by a deep appreciation of Korean 16th century ware from the Chosôn dynasty. The brushed decoration is a combination of slips made from local clay, and found and hand-ground scrap flake iron, which produces a rich variation in colour and brush stroke quality and texture.
The intimate contact with ceramics when eating and drinking is very important to my work as is the practical durability of porcelain for everyday use."




Matt Horne

Vase Matt Horne
We have a stunning Christmas collection of Matt's smaller crystalline glazed vases. All the work is thrown porcelain. The crystalline glaze is applied very thickly to encourage the glaze to run when fired. A complex firing programme aids the development of the delicate crystalline structures in the glaze: the vases are fired to maximum temperature, then rapidly cooled to a 'holding temperature'. This is the period that allows the random formation of crystals, larger or smaller depending on how long the piece is left at this temperature.

After six years perfecting this technique Matt's beautifully finished work demonstrates his mastery of this particularly complicated and temperamental glaze.


Ashley Howard

Teabowl Ashley Howard
Teabowl Ashley Howard
Ashley Howard is a senior lecturer in ceramics at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham, Surrey and has been a member of the CPA since 1994. His studies at the Royal College of Art in the 2000s resulted in a dramatic change in his work.

In this Christmas show we have a selection of his smaller stoneware vessels, softly thrown in stoneware and altered to a "fluid sensuality".


John Kershaw

Jug John Kershaw
John Kershaw lives and works in Windermere, making mainly thrown pieces in stoneware. The work we feature in our Christmas exhibition is influenced by John's interest in ancient Greek culture and the pale sandy clay and aquamarine barium glazes he uses evoke the Greek coastal landscape.

John writes; "I like the process of creating in action rather than stillness. I like to create strong contrasting textures of clay and glaze, often using powdered clays on the wet thrown body to build up a heavily encrusted surface."

Pourer Anna Lambert

Anna Lambert

Anna Lambert's delightful hand built earthenware pieces have a strong domestic function, while joyfully depicting characterful interpretations of natural landscapes, wildlife and the seasons.

Vessel Anna Lambert
A graduate of Bath Academy Art and the University of Central Lancashire, Lambert has been producing her trademark earthenware since the 1980s.

Anna is known to use a variety of techniques in creating her hand built, functional pieces. Modelling, slip and underglaze painting, various printmaking methods used through altered clay slabs are some of the methods used responding to her own rural, British environment.


Ostinelli and Priest

Dog Ostinelli and Priest
Famous for their wide and unique range of distinctive, figurative animals, this year the Ostinelli and Priest duo have provided the Christmas exhibition with a selection of some of their smaller, characterful creatures. Hares, Boxers and inquisitive rats, all built with the well-known Ostinelli and Priest lowfired, lightly painted, hand built style. All perfect as thoughtful and collectible Christmas gifts.

Janice Tchalenko

Jug Janice Tchalenko
Colander Janice Tchalenko
Janice Tchalenko's free form ceramics incorporate vivid colours and abstract, soft patterns. Her ceramics draws on her inspiration by the work of Matisse and influences in contemporary textiles. Bringing together both functionality with original, modern design.

Vessel Tanya Gomez


Tanya Gomez

Vessel Tanya Gomez
We have a selection of Tanya's softly thrown porcelain vessels in the gallery for Christmas, with surfaces either in rich and vibrant reds and some with a pale, subtle celadon green. All Tanya's work here reflects her desire "to create forms that will capture qualities of fluidity, movement and provide a sense of space."
Tanya is inspired by the coastal environment of where she grew up, on the south coast of England. Study at Camberwell College of Art, University of Brighton and the Royal College of Art, Tanya developed her research in colour, tension, rhythm and energetic throwing in clay.



Tessa Wolfe Murray

Vase Tessa Wolfe Murray
Vase Tessa Wolfe Murray
Tessa Wolfe Murray studied Fine Art at Ravensbourne College of Art followed by a postgraduate course in Ceramics at Goldsmiths College.

For 'Dear Santa...' Tessa is exhibiting a series of vase forms. High firing white earthenware is handbuilt using slabs. Surfaces are scored and impressed, marks and colours suggest rock forms, eroded and weathered.  Her vases are finished inside with a dark glaze, contrasting beautifully with the soft whiteness of the earthenware.


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