We have a love for Penkridge Ceramics here at The Harley Gallery; their beautiful still-lives often grace our shelves, so here I share a bit more information about their craft…
STILL LIFE STUDIES IN CLAY
Penkridge Ceramics was established in 1984 by Lorraine Taylor and Nicky Smart, after attaining BA and MA qualifications in our chosen field of Ceramics.
On leaving college we started work in our first studio in the Staffordshire village of Penkridge, hence the name, and began to hone our skills to create the first pieces of work, establishing the collectable range known as ‘Penkridge Ceramics’.
Although both our interests within ceramics were quite different whilst pursuing our degrees, this proved an advantage when we came to establish the studio, as it brought together the creative skills of both, with artistic flare and practical craftsmanship. Over the years we have striven to create a unique body of work, which is now regarded as the best in its field.
In 1993 we moved to Walsall, near
to a larger workshop. This move helped in the expansion of our range. We have employed several Birmingham graduates as workshop assistants over the years and currently employ Bev Page, a Fine Art graduate. Art School
All designing, modelling and mould making, devising glazes and hand finishing is carried out within the Studio.
The only aspect of the work not done in the studio is the range of metal leaves and twigs. These are designed and produced by Sculptor Alan Ballantyne.This is a relatively new development to the range, which adds an extra dimension to the work by creating individual pieces of ‘still life’ that can stand alone as sculptural pieces in their own right, as well as giving that final touch to a grouping of fruits.
The main aim of the work is to draw on the creative talents of all involved in the making process to explore, within the confines of the chosen medium, the possibilities of creating work, which is not as it appears to be.
Each piece in the range is individually considered, with several layers of glaze added to create both colour and texture giving a ‘super real’ effect, which provokes first surprise and immense interest in the accuracy of the finish. Our influences lie in trompe l’oeil and early still life paintings of fruits, which demonstrates the beauty of the organic forms along with the accuracy and detail required to represent the ‘real thing’.
Our work is now collected by private individuals, as well as being sold in galleries and by interior designers both in the domestic market and abroad.
The exquisite finished pieces...