The Great British Pottery Revival

BY CHRIS EGAN

The successful BBC TV series The Great Pottery Throwdown has added to the current wave of popularity gripping the world of ceramics in the UK; underlining how clay is oozing back into contemporary art. As Hettie Judah wrote in the Independent last year, “the championing of clay as a sculptural medium by a younger generation of artists has brought with it a re-examination of work that weltered in the shadows over decades when ceramic was out of favour.”

One of the contemporary, up-and-coming ceramicists whose work featured on The Great Pottery Throwdown was Surrey-based Gemma Wightman.

Gemma makes an exciting range of hand thrown porcelain tableware. Exploring the wonders of porcelain, she manipulates forms so that they look as fresh as when they were first created on the potter’s wheel. Each piece entices you to touch it with their deep thrown lines and sumptuous curves. Gemma takes great pleasure in knowing that her pieces are an enjoyment to those that use them.

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Gemma formulates her own glazes in order to produce the subtle variations in tone of both the shiny turquoise and satin cream glazes. Before the final firing the pieces are individually dipped in the glaze.

Gemma trained in the early 2000s, firstly at the Surrey Institute of Art & Design in Farnham and then on the Bath Spa University Ceramics degree course under the esteemed tutorage of Felicity Aylieff and Takeshi Yasuda.

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Gemma will be having a Summer open studio show on the 8th June between 6pm and 8.30 pm and between the 9th and 11th June between 11am and 5pm. Her website can be found here.  

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