My figurative ceramics draw people into a world of narrative that touches on the human experience. They explore themes based on emotion, intimacy, relationships and captured moments. Every piece has its own name and a story to tell.
My ideas and inspiration come from my own personal experience of life, things I hear and the everyday challenges that we all have to overcome or live with. In the privacy and space of my own studio, surrounded by nature, I use images from my imagination, magazines, newspapers and photography to inspire my initial sketches. I try to express and distill all the sentiments and feelings I observe into the clay in an attempt to provoke empathy and an understanding in the viewer.
The figures I create are “In the Moment.” They are reflective in their mood and calm in thought, almost captured in a dream state. My work revolves around the figure and the connections we make as individuals or together as partners on a daily basis. I strive to make my pieces engage with the onlooker, reach into them and awaken their emotions. I have my own narrative for my figures, but I am also curious to know what they say privately to others and what stories they reveal to them.
My figures faces bear no mouths, eyes or an obvious facial expression- they communicate solely with their eye brows, the tilt of their heads, or the light placing of a hand. Sometime this subtlety in body language speaks louder in a quiet gentle way. The slender shapes of some of my figures stem straight up from the ground that they stand on, like a tree; I like to keep them simple.
I have explored different themes of comfort, nurturing, love, grief and how they affect us. Protection of oneself and empathy for others is a subject that I have revisited many times and I will continue to do so. I am currently looking at couples and the dynamics between them, the intimacy and the search to find bonds with others.
I carefully craft each unique figure in Stoneware or Porcelain. Sizes can vary from 18cm – 60cm in height. I use multiple glazes after the bisque firing, layering them and firing them up again in my electrical kiln to 1260 degrees, until I get the desired effect sometimes firing the work many times. Occasionally, some of the stoneware figures will have separate Porcelain props added to the figure at the end, sometimes along with gold thread, decals and gold lustre. This adds to the complexity of the piece even though at its heart it remains a simple figurative form.
(Photographs by Anna Krol – Facebook Site )