Painterly Potters

After having the idea to share a list of my favourite ceramic artists I spent a whole day researching it and ended up with a list of 50 artists. Realising this would result in a very long post I placed the artists in groups such as artists I admired years ago who are still current today, or the less well known, throwers or hand-builders, functional or sculptural artists.

From here I decided to focus on one group and chose to share artists whose work resonates with my own way of working now. The result is 3 artists whose work has amazing energy, knowledge of material and aesthetics that I really admire.

The winning list is ‘My Favourite Painterly Potters’. Differences within this group are that they use different types of clay and different techniques, some throw others slab build. Similarities is that they all use the ceramic form as a canvas to express their 2D drawing and painterly techniques onto but have an extra dimension with mark making and form onto a 3D structure.   

Camilla Ward

According to studio pottery website Camilla is no longer making, so a huge disappointment there as her work is amazing.

Camilla Ward Camilla creates from slabbed red earthenware clay, under-glazes, engobes, slips and glaze. Mark making and gestural colour application give the work a spontaneous explorative appeal as opposed to a highly design engineered piece; that I personally find too contrived. I admire her skill and confidence with construction in the way edges meet, emphasising seams that are displayed proud, not hidden away.

Barry Stedman

Barry’s work is cBarry Stedmanreated from thrown and slab built red earthenware clay, slips, stains and oxides. His work is very loose, no restrictions to conform here which I admire. There is a sense of courage with his use of colour and form, a braveness that only those prepared to risk it all during making would make. The resulting work is relaxed and easy but still demands deserved attention.

Craig Underhill

Craig Underhill 3

Craig’s pieces have a quietness, softness and subtlety to them, they remind me of a pastel drawing. He uses clay as a canvas to receive his line, marks and colour. The contrast between the hard ceramic surface, that started life as soft and malleable clay, culminating in a visually soft, gestural surface give each piece a wonderful energy. Each piece is different yet all variations work on their own merits.


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