Inspired by the natural world and created using a variety of techniques - UK Handmade member, Jane Paveley, introduces Sparkle Ceramics and Jewellery.
I design ceramic jewellery and ceramic wall art. My ceramic work is heavily focused on the surface design, inspired by the natural world and created using a variety of techniques such as screen printing, stenciling, painting and mixed media. My creative journey has been a gradual process, trying my hand at a variety of artistic disciplines. I have always loved to draw, paint and create, being introduced as a child to the delights of plasticraft, enameling and the joys of Das. Over the last few years I have studied on a variety of printing and ceramics courses and now utilize these different techniques as part of my design inspiration process.
I work with a variety of different clay bodies depending on the feel I want the piece to have, a more heavily grogged clay will give texture whilst working with porcelain the finished design can be smooth and fine. The myriad of possibilities, depending on which clay or glaze is used to produce a design, is one of the joys of working with clay.
Most of my work is hand built and nature inspired. I am forever taking pictures of plants, flowers and insects and these often form the basis of a developing design idea.
Another source of inspiration is the sea, especially shells and the treasures found when beachcombing. The allure of all those shimmering, organic forms always triggers my inner Beachcomber.
Organic shapes form the basis of my designs, each piece being formed individually by hand. I occasionally use a cutter for initial shaping and then hand finish to achieve the desired end result. I usually work in sets to produce a range that has harmony of colour and design. I have to admit that I am not a keen enforcer of the tape measure; it feels a bit restrictive to the creative process. I do sometimes work to a more rigid and reproducible form and size. This brings its own special interest - working in a more constricted way forces a slightly different approach and leads to a different end product.
My ideas for a design are worked through from drawings to become 3D pieces. Often I will work on a set of flower images, focusing on the petals to express these colours and textures. Once dry the greenware can be fired before glazing.
I have proud ownership of a very tiny kiln so for larger wall based projects the pieces must be fired in batches, taking several weeks. Opening the kiln after a firing is always exciting, the clay seems to take on a life of its own inviting ideas for further decoration, or sometimes wanting to be left in a ‘pure’ form.
Once the bisque pieces are ready I organize them into sets to decide on decoration. Blues are usually a favourite - in all the different hues from shimmering turquoise to deepest royal blue. I aim to work with a range of blues, greens, pinks and purples with varying translucency. After several layers of colour have been left to fully dry, the second firing can be done. An exciting aspect of working with clay is the unpredictability of the result so on opening the kiln the finished piece may be unexpected – this is not always good!
After the glaze firing I will finish the designs with attachments for either jewellery or wall art depending on the piece.
My latest range is developing from a theme of purity, almost an absence of colour, with more pale, white forms taken through from pictures and sketches to the final glazed range.
I am attending the Sparkle fair at the Landmark, Teddington in November.
All images credited to Jane Paveley.
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