ARTS THREAD looks at the talents on show at New Designers in the field of ceramics.
Ciara Lee studied at Kensington and Chelsea having first been to Camberwell College of Art, which was for many decades the leading school in ceramics, employing the very best tutors. This pedigree is a pronounced feature in Ciara’s current work. It has a strong oriental feel and at the same time conveys a strong sense of mass and heaviness, giving her work solidity combined with a strange humanity.
From Morcambe to Manchester School of Art, to overall prize winner, step forward the hugely gifted Joseph Hartley. His sense of design, the technique, the underlying purpose are of such a high standard it is no surprise that Joseph should walk away with the BDC winner’s medal. Free of gimmick, current trend and desire to catch the eye, Joseph’s bread making kit is nothing short of a young man’s masterclass in ceramic design.
Nigel Matthewes had been self employed for many years in the construction business when by chance he discovered he had the ability to make ceramics. After a couple of years testing his skills part time, Nigel sold his business and enrolled at Staffordshire University. His tea pots and jugs are a wonder of thoughtful and delicate design, often harking back to earlier concepts.
Chelsea Cooney is a graduate from Cardiff Metropolitan University. Her work is curiously unsettling, creating the effect of a once ordered world suddenly shattered and then either left to decay or only carelessly repaired. She states she makes objects by almost working backwards which results in backwards objects. Strange yet familiar in themselves.
Lydia Abigail Barton studied at Bucks New University. Her statement says it all. ‘I prefer to work with porcelain, taking advantage of its translucent and fragile looking qualities when placed over a light source. I like to think of my work as being both decorative and functional. I also enjoy making glass pendants by layering Bullseye and Dicroic sheet glass then heating it to 800 degrees to fuse the layers together.’