Posted 22nd September 2019
Meet... Lucy Burley and Penny Green
Discover ceramicists Lucy Burley and Penny Green, whose unique, handcrafted pieces are available to purchase in Watts Ceramics 2019 - our new exhibition in Watts Contemporary Gallery.
Lucy started making ceramics in London in 1992, after an earlier career in television. She took a Foundation Course at Wimbledon School of Art and then studied at Camberwell College of Art. After graduating, Lucy worked in shared studios in Battersea before moving to Farnham in 2000. For fifteen years she worked from a rural studio in Kingsley, Hampshire, but now works from a garden studio at home, as well as teaching ceramics to adults and children across Surrey and Hampshire.
'My vessels are made on the wheel, using white earthenware clay. My work explores the relationship between form and colour and I'm inspired in part by the still-life paintings of Giorgio Morandi - by the simplicity and quiet conveyed by his pictures of groups of bottles and other vessels. I want my pots to have the same sense of being in family groups, related but non-identical. I have formulated a smooth, semi-matt glaze, and I use this as a base to which I add oxides and stains to get a spectrum of colours. The inspiration for these comes from nature: flowers, fruit, the landscape, birds' eggs, the sky and seashore.'
After training at the Slade School of Art in Stage Design, Penny went on to become a successful fashion designer selling clothing world-wide. (The V&A holds examples of her work.) For the last twenty years she has been making ceramic objects and decorative forms. She often incorporates references from the past (such as medieval illustrations, or Elizabethan miniature paintings, Indian painted cloths, as well as historical events and figures), exploring the connection between these source materials and contemporary concepts. For example, Young Man among Roses and Thorn Man are inspired by miniatures by Nicholas Hilliard, where Elizabethan attitudes of melancholy contrast with our ideas of mental health today.
'I use several methods to build the ceramics: press moulding for the dishes, slip-casting and plaster mould forms for some of the figures, as well as simple hand-building. Over the years I have built up a large collection of small plaster press moulds which I use for the decoration on the clothing and faces. The figures have coloured “over load" glazes which I make myself. Many also have gold, bronze or silver lustre applied for a final firing.'
Interested in seeing Lucy Burley and Penny Green's works in person? Click here to find out more about Watts Ceramics 2019.
Banner image: Lucy Burley