On the London Design Week trail

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Ceramic Review’s Editor, Sue Herdman, takes in a new show of ceramics by Marcus O’Mahony

I love London Design Week – especially when a participating show comes direct to CR’s office. Each morning this week, whilst making my way to my desk, I’m getting the chance to gaze at the quietly dazzling ceramic work of Marcus O’ Mahony. Why so? Because, as part of LDF 2015, the magazine’s partner gallery, the CPA’s Contemporary Ceramics Centre here in Great Russell Street, is hosting a carefully chosen selling exhibition of his work.

The pots and vessels on display are the purest examples of Marcus’ style – stoneware and porcelain inspired by the Leach Hamada tradition, made in his studio in rural Co. Waterford in Ireland. He’s known for his wood-fired ceramics and salt glazes, ‘cooked’ in the huge kiln he has built (so big it can fire for three to four days). During a firing, I’m told, his pots ‘erupt, corrupt, explode and implode within the flames, wood ash and salt…’. The heat dances across the surfaces of the vessels, creating the colours and textures that we see in the pieces in this show.

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Looking at the vessels – strong, organic, beautifully balanced in their forms – it’s hard to imagine the ferocity of that experience within the kiln. They have a calm presence and demand, gently but firmly, to be contemplated, not scurried past (no matter how many pages need passing for press that day). All week these pots have provided the CR team with a moment’s mindfulness at the start and the close of each day. Come and take a look; see if they can do the same for you.

You’ll find the gallery at 63 Great Russell Street, opposite the British Museum; it is open 10:30-6pm (closed Sunday); the show finishes on Monday 28 Sept. Find out more at cpaceramics.com The vessels on sale range in price from £160 to £1,050. For more on Marcus and his work see marcusomahony.com

You can discover more about London Design Week at londondesignfestival.com

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