I started working with clay at an early age, going to an after school club, and its been a constant ever since. I hand build sculptural vessels and forms. What excites me is working with the material, creating forms which leads to the exploration of the surface and development of colour. I am inspired by the world around me, searching out the patterns and rhythms of the natural and man-made environment.
Its all about the clay
Katie makes sculptural vessels and forms using a variety of hand building techniques. Working with soft clay coils and slabs, and allowing the material to move and suggest direction for development, the forms grow during this process.
Once the forms are refined the surfaces can be layered with pattern and texture inspired by discovering the rhythms and patterns within the natural and man-made environment. The development of texture and pattern helps to create an invitingly tactile surface to the work.
Colour is applied using brushes, building up layers of slip, oxide and underglaze colours to create a depth of colour which has variations of tone and colour within it.
The use of terra sigillata slips creates thin layers of colour and a soft, satin surface, which is reminiscent of the quality of the clay surface before the bisque firing. This surface invites interaction and by interacting with the forms you get to know the subtleties of each individual piece.
However it is important that the work remains open to interpretation. The textures remain abstract enough for the viewer to bring their own experience to the work.
The dark interiors appear to almost distort the interior volume, suggestions of the unknown are glimpsed in the shadows. Alternatively, lighter interiors in solid colours can create a contrast to the exterior surfaces.
“I hope people want to touch, are drawn to the surface, want to look inside and explore the forms. Touch is such an important part of the making process and it feels like an essential part of the process of experiencing the work.”
The plinths, in both ceramic and oak, are a new addition. Vessel forms have very clear connections with functional ceramics and the plinths help to elevate them both literally and contextually, changing the viewer’s perception from functional to sculptural. The longer plinths that hold a number of pieces create a strong, contained conversation between the pieces, but it is a conversation that the viewer can be a part of through handling and rearranging each item.
Having started pottery at school, Katie went on to study ceramics at degree level and became a teacher specialising in ceramics in secondary education. For the last 7 years she has been working full time as a ceramicist. She has taken part in national ceramics fairs, has produced work for her local hospital and her work forms part of the collection of a number of private individuals. She makes work for the home and garden as well as public or corporate spaces and is happy to take on commissions.