Back in October last year I was lucky enough to be selected to exhibit at the Farnham Maltings Festival Of Crafts. At the festival, I was delighted to be selected as ‘the most exciting maker’ by the New Ashgate Gallery team. My prize was a solo exhibition to be held this year at the gallery, my first solo exhibition! Planning commenced in January 2016 to design every piece by hand.
Six months flew by making and firing work, including my new for 2016 collection of porcelain wall pieces. The launch evening was here before I knew it!
My final collection included screen printed porcelain vessels, wall pieces and wearables. Each piece hand printed through a silk screen directly onto the raw clay surface; making in this unusual way results in each piece being totally unique.
My collection at the New Ashgate Gallery was inspired by Victorian curiosity cabinets, and the stories that surround the objects contained within. My vessels are printed with text from old dictionaries, images of beetles, mushrooms, Octopi and birds, layered with colourful stenciled slip decoration. The forms are taken from Victorian apothecary bottles often contained within the cabinets.
The preview was a beautiful balmy Friday evening attended by makers, friends and local craft collectors. The New Ashgate Gallery is housed in a lovely Tudor building in the heart of Farnham in Surrey. Contained within is a wonderful range of contemporary craft from functional clay vessels to hand etched decorative prints.
I was delighted to launch my exhibition along side an exhibition of selected makers from the Crafts Council’s Hothouse six program. The Hothouse program is designed to helped emerging and early career makers develop there practice. It provides maker/ designers with skills and tools to grow a sustainable business.
The hothouse exhibition consisted of eleven makers picked from this years Hothouse program, including bold ceramic vessels from Hannah Townsend, colourful glass sculptures by Kira Meyer and fascinating articulated jewellery by Toby Cotterill.
Another favourite was Tina Macleod, who incorporates metal, textile and found objects in her captivating jewellery.
Rhian Malin’s delicate blue and white porcelain vessels, intricately decorated by hand, adorned one of the gallery’s Tudor window sills.
At the launch evening I was lucky enough to be introduced to Dutch born ceramist Arjan Van Dal, one of the Hothouse six participants. His simple colourful porcelain forms a great contrast to my own work.
As part of the launch evening Arjan and I both gave short talks about our inspirations and making techniques. I always find it useful to hear what inspires other artists and how they negotiate the journey of making.
If you would like to see all the work for yourself, my exhibition is on at the New Ashgate Gallery along side the selected Hothouse six makers exhibition until September 10th 2016.