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Welcome to Ceramic Review

Ceramic Review is the magazine for contemporary and historical ceramics, ceramic art and pottery.


Ceramic Review Issue 297

May/June 2019

Annette Welch. Photo by Layton Thompson for Ceramic Review

'Surfaces are scarred with marks or mono-printed with slip, then the application of warm matte or glossy glazes complement and contrast with unglazed areas of fired clay.' In this video, Annette Welch discusses how she makes her large thrown dishes, decorated with abstract mono-printed designs. Learn how Annette makes her work in the full step-by-step masterclass inside Ceramic Review issue 293 (September/October 2018).

‘My path to ceramics was fairly traditional. I had an inspiring teacher at school, then went on to a Foundation course at Cheltenham Art School with two encouraging, stimulating tutors, Tony Davies and James Campbell, and then a degree in Ceramics at Camberwell School of Art.

After art school I set up Sumner Road Studios in South London with fellow ex-students and held part-time jobs as a technician and slip-caster. I love London and although it was a gritty, hard place to live during the 1980s, I could visit museums, galleries and art house cinemas. It was a complete contrast to my countryside upbringing.

I am particularly fascinated with contrasts – stillness and dynamism, shadow and light, control and chance

I continued to extend and develop my own practice in various spaces and I now teach adults at Morley College. The ceramics department is an exciting, collaborative and diverse community where talented tutors and students learn, promote, enhance and explore the transforming nature of clay. Although I work in isolation in my studio in South London, there is a continuous thread of learning, teaching and making that encompasses my dual role as a maker/teacher.

My recent collection of wheel-thrown stoneware ceramics is a response to the environment of my studio, which is surrounded by vegetation. In winter, when the leaves have dropped, the silhouettes of bare tree branches against the skyline create a chaos of black lines. Tree canopies, scattered twigs and shadows in the winter light are reflected in the abstract imagery that became a starting point for my recent work.

I am particularly fascinated with contrasts – stillness and dynamism, shadow and light, control and chance, and I am constantly striving to achieve a harmony between these qualities. Visual and tactile aspects in my work vary from elemental, raw-earth warmth, to a light, cool clarity.

My practice often involves making mistakes, starting again, reassessing and listening to myself

I like to combine clays to achieve a range of textures and tones. Surfaces are scarred with marks or monoprinted with slip, then the application of warm matte or luminous glossy glazes complement and contrast with the unglazed areas of fired clay.

It is essential for me to love what I’m doing. I am captivated by the process of wheel throwing and enjoy the challenge of refining and honing my technique. My practice often involves making mistakes, starting again, reassessing and listening to myself in order to recognise what I am attempting to express with clay, form and surface. When these elements come together I’m happy.’

 

Learn how Annette makes her work inside Ceramic Review issue 293 (Sept/Oct 2018), which features a full step-by-step masterclass.

Annette Welch masterclass Ceramic Review. Photo Layton Thompson
Annette Welch masterclass Ceramic Review. Photo Layton Thompson
Annette Welch masterclass Ceramic Review. Photo Layton Thompson
Annette Welch masterclass Ceramic Review. Photo Layton Thompson
Annette Welch masterclass Ceramic Review. Photo Layton Thompson
Annette Welch masterclass Ceramic Review. Photo Layton Thompson