This is the End of the Beginning

Celia David's delicate slip castings
Celia David’s delicate slip castings

The ceramics diploma at City Lit has been a most wonderful experience.  I have learned so much from wonderful tutors and I feel much more certain of my way in ceramics.

Claudia Wassiczek's intriguing and thought provoking wall pieces
Claudia Wassiczek’s intriguing and thought provoking wall pieces

Mind you, I think the thing I know most certainly now is that I know almost nothing about ceramics!  What a subject.  The discovery of what it can do is going to take me the rest of my life!

The last two weeks will be with me for ever.  It has been incredibly hard work getting everything ready, first for New Designers and then, almost without drawing breath, for our graduation show at Candid Arts but, my word, it has been worth every drop of blood and sweat and tears.


Young Ran Lee's massive, architectural groups
Young Ran Lee’s massive, architectural groups

It has been a real privilege to work along side some truly lovely people and I have enjoyed sharing so much with a group of fellow students whom I believe will be friends for ever – I certainly hope so!  I have learned a lot about myself and been presented with some exciting opportunities for the future.  Lucky me!

Enrica Casentini's beautiful oval vessel
Enrica Casentini’s beautiful oval vessel
Sassirika's delicate flowing forms.
Sassirika’s delicate flowing forms.
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Ranti Bamgbala’s colourful collaged pieces
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Jess Prout’s remarkable selection of vintage cameras

I woke this morning thinking about the work which has been in the gallery this week – not mine, that of my colleagues.  The range of pieces has been so extra-ordinary.

Tania McCallin's massive yet beautiful vessels.
Tania McCallin’s massive yet beautiful vessels.

We have had the same tutors and been on the same course yet in the last few months our explorations have shot off in every single direction resulting in an exhibition which was incredibly diverse and of a truly fabulous level of skill – and all achieved over two years studying for two days per week.  Not bad!

Steven Will's delightful porcelain vessels.
Steven Will’s delightful porcelain vessels.

So I wanted to share a few of what I think are the highlights of this week’s exhibition.  Watch out – these artists are going to hit the big time, or I shall drink my glazes!

I cannot help it though, in all this work I still feel there is one person’s work that calls to me more than any other and, in the end I was compelled to bring one of her pieces home with me at the end of it all today.  Joanne Bain throws the most delightful shapes.  Her bottles gather in groups and create a dialogue with each other.  They take on the semblance of figures and as she describes it, ‘hint at a deeper kinship between them’.  What better way to finish the diploma than with a group of ceramic pieces which reflects the way I feel about the characters on the course?  Thank you, Jo.

Position leads to relationships.  Joanne Bain
Position leads to relationships. Joanne Bain

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