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Contemporary ceramics from Joanna Veevers and Sasha Wardell at The De Morgan Centre
Sasha Wardell, 3 Shoal bowls.

LONDON.- The De Morgan Centre welcomes two established ceramic artists this summer in a selling exhibition. Observed and Made highlights a variety of ceramic techniques from 5th July – 31st August 2013.

Joanna Veevers and Sasha Wardell are ceramic artists with different and distinctive styles that fully complement each other. They have between them many years of experience in studying, creating and exhibiting ceramic art and have experimented with a number of techniques and mediums including mosaic, bone china and slip casting. This exhibition is an exploration of the progression of creativity, from inspiration to completion.

Both artists draw inspiration from a variety of sources; Wardell’s bone china pieces are inspired by architectural detail and sections of structure, while landscapes, gardens, stitched textiles, and the concept, order and visual nature of museums all influence the content and arrangement of Veevers’ works.

Wardell’s pieces are all individually made using bespoke advanced industrial processes that she has personally developed. The clarity and refined precision of Wardell’s bone china pieces provides a perfect contrast to Veevers’ bold works.

Veevers’ works are often site-specific and in this exhibition her works draw inspiration from William De Morgan’s Arts and Crafts ceramics (on permanent display at the De Morgan Centre); the circular mosaics reference the structured designs and richly decorated surfaces of De Morgan’s plates and chargers. A displayed selection of her sketchbooks reveals the creative process, from initial inspiration to finished object.

This exhibition provides the opportunity to purchase unique and high quality hand-crafted goods to complement a contemporary lifestyle, at an achievable and affordable price.

Prices start at £110.

Joanna Veevers MA (RCA)
A degree in Printed Textiles followed by an MA in Ceramics at the Royal College of Art, reinforced and informed an early fascination with drawing, pattern and surface which permeates all of Joanna’s work, whether it be slip cast tiles and wall pieces, jewellery, mosaics, drawings or prints.

In the making of her ceramic work Joanna uses a fine line scratched into plaster and lays down marks and imagery using coloured slips, (liquid clays), in a sedimentary and modular way, prior to casting and firing. The technique results in a ceramic surface with graphic qualities which could be associated with some printmaking processes rather than with ceramics. Memories, landscape, gardens, stitched textiles, collections, the concept, order and visual nature of museums, all influence her work’s content and arrangement. Attention to detail, repetition, the division and sub-division of space, and the placement of elements within those spaces, are Joanna’s visual pre-occupations when drawing, designing and making.

Joanna has worked on numerous public and private commissions, widely varied in scale from mosaic floor designs for public spaces, to commemorative plaques, tiles and awards. Her work is decorative, subtle and restrained, and tends to have a narrative quality. Her approach to commissions is closely linked to her personal work. The designs are full of visual metaphors and are often site specific or subject driven, resulting in solutions that are informative and relevant.

In addition to completing commissioned pieces Joanna has worked as a ceramic artist and designer in England and Japan for industry, and has sold work extensively through galleries and exhibitions.

Joanna also teaches at The Dulwich Picture Gallery, is a visiting artist to West Dean College and a part time lecturer at Kensington and Chelsea College.

Sasha Wardell
Sasha Wardell has been working in bone china since 1982. Her formal training in ceramics included both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and industrial training secondments to L’Ecole Nationale des Arts Decoratifs, Limoges, France, and the Royal Doulton design studio, Stoke on Trent, UK.

An industrial approach to the traditional bone china manufacturing process has strongly influenced the way in which Sasha presently works, reflecting her fascination for methods and materials which present a challenge. It is for this reason that bone china, with all its idiosyncrasies, has remained her favourite material.

“Bone china is a very “single-minded” clay which forces clarity and precision, whilst demanding perseverance from the maker. Possessing qualities of intense whiteness, translucency and strength, makes it a very seductive material to work with,” says Wardell.

“Architectural detail and sections of structure, combined with my evolving interest in illusions, provide the starting point for my pieces - and the inherent qualities of the clay do the rest. I find that the whiteness of bone china clay offers a pure blank canvas for the applications of colour, and its translucency enhances any varying degrees of luminosity.”

By adding a carefully selected colour palette to the striking white bone china, coupled with unique decorating techniques evolved through painstaking trial and error, Wardell has developed ranges of distinctive signature work that is sought after by personal collectors, museums and galleries worldwide.

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