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Clare Conrad

My work is an exploration of colour and texture inspired, mainly, by the effects of light and ageing on architecture, artefacts and landscape. My technique of layering vitreous slip onto wheel-thrown vessels, vases and bowls provides a rugged texture, which contrasts with the satin-matt glaze inside. The pots are fired to stoneware temperature in an electric kiln, which gives me total control over the subtlety of the finished colours.

My approach is to combine artistic expression with traditional craft skills and an innovative decorating technique. Form and contrast were my initial concerns, with particular interest in the contradiction of fragile, yet protective, strength, for example that of shells and ancient helmets, together with aesthetic obsessions of chiaroscuro and visual drama. Travel in southern France and Italy, with the region’s light, sun-baked colours, sense of mellow antiquity and faded splendour was the catalyst for experiments with colour and texture.

Forms are wheel-thrown and turned using ribs during the later stages of throwing to eliminate finger ridges and help to give a perfect profile. I use a high-quality coarse stoneware clay mixed with a smooth one. This gives strength to the thinly thrown walls and a key for the subsequent surface. Exterior colour is vitreous slip, applied by layering onto the damp piece after turning. I mix the slip from raw materials, obtaining subtle hues by mixing primary colour stains into them. These are then intermixed to give an infinite palette. Great care and concentration are needed during application as the ratio of dampness of slip to pot is crucial and, of course, these are constantly drying as work progresses.

The interior glaze is formulated to give a satin-matt surface, coloured with basic oxides, mixed and intermixed to harmonise with the exterior. It is applied after bisque firing, then fired to oxidised stoneware temperature 1200C. The high firing temperature renders the piece strong and waterproof – the surface and colours fully permanent and lightproof.

Membership - Fellow of the Craft Potters Association

Education - Ceramics - B.A.(hons) - Bristol (University of the West of England) 1984-'87

Selected Exhibitions include

2015 Woodbury Studio Gallery, Woodbury, Nr. Exeter - "Clay 22"
Porthminster Gallery, St. Ives, Cornwall - "St. Ives Inspired"
Keramiekcentrum Tiendschuur, Tegelen, The Netherlands - "More Art of Decoration"
The Stour Gallery – Autumn Exhibition                                                                                                   

Ceramic Art London - The Royal College of Art, London
Porthminster Gallery - St. Ives, Cornwall "Ceramics Showcase"
The Bowie Gallery at Hay Festival - Hay on Wye, Nr. Hereford
Tim Andrews Gallery - Clay 21 - Woodbury, Devon
Bevere Gallery - Nr. Worcester - "Christmas Focus"

Ceramic Art London - The Royal College of Art, London
Porthminster Gallery - St Ives, Cornwall 'By Land and Sea'
Gallerytop - Debyshire - "Natural Selection"
Bettles Gallery, Hampshire - Christmas Exhibition

Craft and Design Centre, Leeds " Points of View"
Porthminster at Westcott's Gallery , St Ives, Cornwall
Stour Gallery, Shipston on Stour, Warks. 
Contemporary Ceramics Centre - London - 'Funding The Future'

Contemporary Ceramics London - April Showcase
Porthminster Gallery - "Atlantic Edge" - St. Ives, Cornwall
The Stour Gallery - Shipston on Stour - Winter exhibition 

The Ceramic Canvas - Keramiekcentrum, Tegelen, The Netherlands - 17th Jan - 18th April
Ceramic Art London - The Royal College of Art, London - 26th - 28th Feb

'The Flower Show' - Leach Pottery, St Ives, Cornwall
'Summer Exhibition' - The Gallery Upstairs, Henley-in-Arden, Warks
Summer Ceramics Show - Porthminster Gallery, St. Ives, Cornwall
Eton Applied Arts, Eton, Berkshire 'In the Window'

Angela Mellor Gallery - Ely, Cambs.

The Gallery at Bevere - Worcester - The Craft Potter's Association at 50 yrs

Galerie Carlin, Paris. - Christmas Exhibition..

Wohnen und Kunst - Made in England - Hamburg
Wohnen und Kunst - Made in England - Dusseldorf
Galerie Carlin, Paris -Coupes et Bols- Joint

Medici Gallery, London - Solo .

Classics VII - Kortrijk, Belgium - British Embassy Pavilion.
Celebration of The Vessel - Southwell Minster Millenium Exhibition.
Architectural Ceramics - Roger Billcliffe Fine Art, Glasgow.

Ikebana Show, Takashimaya, Osaka store - Japan
Contemporary Ceramics, C.P.A. London - "In The Window"

Selected Events Include:
Ceramic Art London - 2008, '09,'10
Art In Clay - Hatfield, Hertfordshire - 2009
Keramisto - Milsbeek, The Netherlands 2008, '09
Delft Ceramica - Delft, Netherlands - 2007
Earth and Fire - Rufford, Notts. - 2007
Chelsea Crafts Fair - 1987,'88,'89,'94,'96,'97,'98.
Craft Potters Association. Christmas Fair 1996, Oxford - 2004, '05, '06

Featured in:
"The Ceramic Surface" - Matthias Ostermann (Pub. 2002 A & C Black).
"Ceramic Form" - Peter Lane (Pub. A & C Black 1998 Edition).
"Crafts Council Buyer's Guide to Studio Ceramics" (1999).
"Objekt" Magazine - Issue 15, 1999 - Netherlands.


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