I’m about to have my very first exhibition as my most recent ceramic work was one of eight selected to be exhibited in The Waker Art Gallery this year! I was presented with a range of artefacts coming under set categories ‘status’, ‘commemoration and remembrance’, and ‘communication’, and was asked to explore these themes. As a designer I’m drawn to form and detail, so when viewing the artefacts I looked at them objectively as opposed to conceptually. Initially I was drawn to these shoe buckles decorated with paste, giving them a more expensive aesthetic. This led me to look at faceted forms and light reflection; I looked at crystals, rocks and geodes. I dropped this idea after a few weeks and looked back to the artefacts for a new project idea, focusing on the elaborate decorative qualities of the objects that came under the category ‘status’. Particularly drawn to a copper coffeepot that imitated silver to look more expensive, and these fascinating 18th century shoes, I decided to study 18th century design, ranging from fashion and print to Rococo architecture (particularly French).
For my ceramic work, I focused on the spiraling curves, asymmetry and nature influenced motifs in French rococo design. My early designs were a series of teacups formed around their spiral handles, but the design developed into a single jug as I thought this would be more ideal giving the time frame, and would have a much better presence in an exhibition space than a single teacup. I spent so much time torn between making this piece brown with blushes of greens and perhaps turquoises – purely due to my own personal preference of earthy coloured ceramics – and white with pastel colours to keep my final outcome more strictly based on the rococo theme. I found that in the time it took for me to decide I actually started to love it as a bisque fired white piece, so I eventually chose to keep it light and use a subtle pink to give it a playful and pretty Mary Antoinette-style aesthetic.
My floral jug, along with several other wonderful works will be exhibited at The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool from March 19 to May 10 2015.