Friday, December 5, 2008

Quotes from Women Potters Speak

I discovered these potters this morning and I totally agree with their statements.

Mollie Winterburn 1991 [images and biography]

'I have always had a non-stop flow of ideas, millions of them, and maybe it is not an advantage. But it is beyond me to understand someone not knowing what to do! The disadvantage of having so many ideas is that they get in one another's way, and they get far ahead of what can be done.'

Mollie Winterburn

click on image for detailed view

Mollie Winterburn (1920-1996) was born in Yorkshire. An arts educator and writer, she made pottery in both vessel and sculptural forms. She trained and worked for much of her life as a teacher of P.E. and dance whilst developing self-taught skills as a potter. During a sabbatical year she attended the Central School of Art and Crafts where William Newland, Nick Vergette and Ruth Duckworth taught her. Subsequently she became head of an Art Department in a large London comprehensive school and also taught art teachers. She wrote two books on pottery, became an examiner for 'O' and 'A' level and later lectured at Gipsy Hill College. She continued to pursue her own career as a potter, visiting and learning from other potters and attending pottery courses. An early member of the Craft Potters Association, she sold most of her work through their shop, the sculptural work being sold privately.

She moved to mid-Wales when she took early retirement for health reasons (1976) where she and a friend set up workshop-studios. The making of pottery was curtailed for many years but she took up photography, printmaking, weaving and other creative work. In the late 1980s she resumed making pottery again and exhibited in the Ceramic Series Exhibition at Aberystwyth Arts Centre (1989). She was influenced by an eclectic range of visual interests from Neolithic pots from N.E. China, prehistoric artefacts, natural forms such as seedpods, figuration and archetypal symbols. Bottle forms with a decidedly figurative, sculptural character were a significant part of her early repertoire. Much of the pottery was handbuilt and some of the work was raku fired, although the majority of pieces were stoneware. She designated herself a ceramic sculptor. The work is in many public and private collections.

Sandy Brown 1989 [images and biography]

'I am an adult with the joy of playing and who is free enough to express it in an uncorrupted manner.'

'I have some considerable experience of playing and the desire and ability to continue to do so.'

'My fingers do it, not me. I just follow them about. It seems to come from deep within; the tactile response seems primitive.'

'That process of being lost within myself, exploring darkest inner space, is tremendously exciting.'

'I make them therefore I am.'

'The whole process involved in using pots is a living one. They need to be fed, bathed and dried. Stroked and handled and displayed.'

Sandy Brown

click on image for detailed view

Sandy Brown (1946-) was born in Hampshire. She makes a range of vigorous, colourfully decorated tableware but is also noted for her figurative sculptures. In the mid-sixties she traveled widely until she settled in Japan (1968) where she first learned pottery at the Dasei Kiln, Mashiko, Japan, (1969-1973) She returned to Britain in 1973 with her husband, the potter Takeshi Yasuda, and she started up her first studio but it was following their move to South Molton, Devon that her style began to evolve. After an amicable divorce in 1994 she moved to her present home and studio at Appledore in Devon. During the 1980s she completed residencies at the University of Texas, U.S.A., Gippsland Institute, Australia and Otago Art School, New Zealand and since then has undertaken lecture tours and exhibited extensively in Britain, Germany and worldwide.

Her work draws on an eclectic set of influences ranging from the ceramics of Picasso and Miro, to children's play and art, Australian watercolours, Devonshire slipware and, especially, Japanese folk pottery. Always impressed by the Japanese approach to serving food in creative and visual ways she has retained a commitment to functional domestic pottery. Working in oxidized stoneware her output has become progressively more expressionistic. She has developed ways of working spontaneously with the soft thrown clay and surface decoration applying bright colours in broad brushstrokes, slashing lines, dots and swirls. In parallel with this she also makes figurative sculptures, autobiographical works recording dreams and states of mind, modeled freely, and reminiscent of the clay figurines and goddesses of the ancient world. Her most recent figurative works are two life-size female figures, 'Millennium Women', powerful primeval icons of womanhood.

Sandy Brown stands as an independent figure in British studio pottery. There is an incomparable ease in the way she fuses elements of east and west, ancient and modern, tradition and individualism, and figurative and abstract.

These women were fun discoveries of my morning and I give credit for all this information to the very interesting site Women Potters Speak. Thank you for sharing on the internet.

No comments:

Post a Comment