“The Long Tale of Clay” Pt 2 was a continuation of an idea from 2017 when I organized the first exhibition for St Carthage’s Hall for Lismore Castle Arts. Part 2 was due to run from mid-October till Christmas Eve, but due to a second lockdown we only managed 1 day before closing for 6 weeks! The final 3 weeks were very successful considering the times we are in.
The invited artists illustrated a broad range of approaches when working in clay – from functional to purely sculptural. Wheel-thrown, hand-built, and cast clay were used in various ways, with the pieces finished using a number of different methods – from wood and pit firing to oxides and colourful glazes fired in electric or gas kilns.
Adele Stanley work process centres around the analysis and making of objects in clay. She uses pre-existing forms and rearranges, remakes and repositions them into art objects.
Amanda Murphy’s work is a range of decorative hand-built ceramics inspired by the beautiful wild Irish landscape, in particular a bird’s eye view looking down on mountains, rivers, valleys and the sea.
Charlie Mahon is an East Cork based ceramic artist who makes both functional and sculptural ceramics in his highly colourful and distinctive style.
Cora Cummins states that “The slow deliberate process of pinching my small porcelain bowls demand a moment’s stillness and allows me to fully connect with the moment. Working mainly in white creates a play of light and shade.”
Eileen Singleton’s interest in clay lies in exploring various ways of capturing texture in the clay surface. She experiments with the versatility of the material by using slips, mark making, tearing, adding combustible materials etc. in the making of the work.
The Late Freda Rupp was primarily concerned with form and with the material effects of erosion and time. The marks on her vessels are suggestive of cracks and fissures in rock surfaces and the debris that becomes lodged there.
Laura McNamara uses plaster molds to form the basis of her work – these are then joined to make a hollow form and decorated in a number of ways.
Marcus O’Mahony is well known for his wood-fired functional and sculptural ceramics. He feels that wood-firing offers the artist a range of creative options not normally associated with other firing methods. It also increases the sense of connection to the work.
Paula Ilecka-Jozwiak uses pit firing, the oldest known method of firing pottery. This method gives a unique surface on the ware. Pots are placed in pit in the ground and covered with combustible materials. The pit is covered and set on fire. The flames imprint unusual patterns the on clay.
Kathryn Dobbyn is a painter as well as ceramic artist. She has been teaching in Dungarvan College for 20 years. The landscape of West Waterford is a great source of inspiration for her, particularly a lake near her house, which often features on her hand-painted slip-cast porcelain pieces.
Jackie Dee began her training at the Stephen Pearce Pottery and has been a production potter for 18 years. She enjoys designing and creating functional art that can be enjoyed and used every day.
Vivien O’Malley is inspired by the sea and the Copper Coast where she lives. The tactile surfaces and marine palette of her glazes reflect the light, colour and texture of the Irish coastline. Her work is thrown on the potter’s wheel before finishing in her signature style.
My work is either inspired by or based on natural forms. I see my work as a celebration rather than an imitation of nature.
You can view a video on The Long Tale of Clay exhibition on YouTube here.