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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 311

September/October 2021

The father and daughter potters share the step-by-step processes they have used to create a thrown and sculpted piece, Live, Love, Laugh, created especially for the magazine

FREYA BRAMBLE-CARTER

From an early age I had lots of creative influences in my life: my mum worked in theatre design and I would spend weekends pugging clay or making teapots in my dad’s ceramics studio. After a few years at boarding school in Somerset, I attended The BRIT School where I studied Visual Art and Design and then undertook a degree in Fine Art at Chelsea School of Art. It was a very conceptual course and although I did spend time in the ceramics studio, I mostly made performance-based work. After university, I decided to take some time out and began to reflect on the different materials I had worked with in my creative practice up until that point. Clay was the only thing that felt enough for me; it was fun, tactile, made me happy and just seemed to be my language. In life you have to follow what feels best in the present moment, so I decided to ask my dad if I could help out at his studio and began to teach children how to make pottery. After boarding school, it was important to me to be around my family. I wanted to help my dad with the more time-consuming and physically challenging aspects of running a ceramics studio. From there it just grew, and I began to develop my own work alongside his, learning to communicate through my craft.  While we do enjoy collaborating, as you will see from this piece, my dad and I have our own individual practices and our work contains different energies. His work is very spiritual, calm and has a peaceful presence, whereas I think my work is slightly wilder. Up until now I have been using mainly neutral tones, but as I move forward I may try to be bolder and produce some brightly coloured series. I want to create work that is uplifting, fun and a celebration of life.   

Visit freyabramblecarter.com; @freyabramblecarter

Freya Bramble-Carter by Layton Thompson

Chris Bramble by Layton Thompson

CHRIS BRAMBLE

I was born in London and lived in Ipswich until I was aged 11. As a child, I used to help out alongside elderly people at a local basket-weaving shop and quickly realised that I enjoyed working with my hands. I moved to Hastings as a teenager and attended college there to study for a diploma in Exhibition Design. It was towards the end of this course that we started working with three-dimensional materials: paper, plastic, wood and clay. I fell in love with clay and applied to study ceramics at a range of universities. I was accepted by Glasgow School of Art and enrolled on its Ceramics BA Honours. By my second year I had already started exhibiting in Scotland, which made the transition from university much easier. After the course,
I decided to take some time out and wanted to travel. Some of my friends in Glasgow were originally from Zimbabwe,
so I took a chance and moved there with them. Originally I only intended to stay for three months, but I ended up living and working there for two years as an Exhibition Officer in the National Gallery. Part of the gallery was funded by British American Tobacco, and they set up a workshop at the back of the gallery where I practised carving with semi-precious stones. This fed into my ceramics practice when I returned to England – my work became more figurative, and I began to combine hand-built sculptural elements with thrown ware.
I think of each piece I make as individual, so there is no rigid thought process, it is very organic. I am inspired by everyday life and love to work alongside a wide range of people. This led me to set up a studio in London to share my skills with others and eventually work with my daughter. For me, teaching is as important as my own practice and my greatest reward is seeing those who I have taught succeed. 

Visit chrisbrambleceramics.com; @chrisbrambleceramics