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Influences for kilnworks handmade tableware gifts

The journey begins

I began my journey by discovering the work of Bernard Leach and in particular his fascination with Japanese ceramics and how the influence of the Far East affected British ceramics. It was at this point that Japanese crafts and culture began affecting the way I approached my work. The tea ceremony with its overtly spiritual and social implications - even in the modern world - helped me to realise the importance of dining and socialising in all cultures. I am particularly fascinated by the social activities surrounding eating.

New influences take hold

It was upon discovering Alison Brittons work which awakened me to the true potential of the ceramic form. Brittons work pushed the traditional boundaries of the vessel as a purely functional object and it was at this point that I began to experiment with form and function proper.

While at Loughborough College - under the tuition of Dan Kelly and David Scott - I began to work towards balancing my new understanding of form and function with tableware. I found it challenging to keep within the self-imposed confines of functional practicality whilst still exploring innovative shapes for tableware designs.

Bernard Leach Ceramic Urn Alison Britton Ceramic Vessel Ben Nicholson Painting Takashi Yasuda Ceramic Jug Lucie Lie Ceramic Bowl Walter Keeler Ceramic Bowl Hans Coper Ceramic Bowl Howard Hodgkin Painting Janice Tchalenko Ceramic Platter Jane Hamilyn Ceramic Teapot

Discovering new glazing techniques

This was the point

I became interested in Lucie Rie, Hans Coper, A+J Young, Walter Keeler and Jane Hamilyn and their influence on modern British studio ceramics. At around this time I also began to explore different finishes and for my Degree show in 1993 produced a range of tableware using the Salt glaze technique.

The making process develops

Although I was producing tableware of a saleable quality I was at the beginning of my journey of discovery, so I began to expand on my repertoire. At this time I had enrolled at the Royal College of Art where Alison Britton and Janice Tchalenko guided me in my studies. They helped me to intellectualise and understand the connection between the idea, the design and the making process.

In addition, the tuition and technical expertise of Martin Smith and Takashi Yasuda enabled me to refine the making process and realise my ideas.

Broader influences and the future

Broader influences

By 1998 I had been living in London for 5 years and having spent the summer travelling Europe plus a short trip to New York, found inspiration in a whole new range of sources. Artists such as Ben Nicholson, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Howard Hodgkin and Tony Cragg - particularly their bold use of shape and colour - gave rise to a new way of approaching ceramics.

My work became larger and bolder and more confident shapes emerged. Blocks of colour - integral with the form - to emphasise angle and structure enabled the work to express itself in new ways, with functionality influencing each major design decision.

The future and beyond for kilnworks tableware

Although my work is continually developing and evolving, I decided several years ago to open my workshop creations up to the world. By selling my work I am able to continue to expand the range of handmade tableware I produce. Discover the difference between Handmade Crafts and conventional 'High Street' Retail Outlets.

Other Influences & Inspiration

Jewellery 4 - Passionate about Jewellery - sells a high quality range of Bracelets, Bangles & Cuffs, Brooches, Earrings, Necklaces & Pendants plus Rings by Cath Kidston & Karen Millen

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