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Carolyn Tripp – Ceramics

Q&A with Carolyn Tripp

Location: London

Discipline: Ceramics


I am a classically trained ceramic artist, training under Richard Slee at Camberwell in the 1990s.

After a career break for family, I returned to my practice 6 years ago with my current body of work in which I use personal stories and recollections to decorate the surfaces of my work. 

I am a Crafts Council Hot House alumni and a selected member of the Craft Potters Association. I have been commissioned to make work that sit aboard two prestigious Norwegian cruise vessels, the Prima and the Viva, within their teppanyaki restaurants.

I have been asked by Kate Malone MBE to donate a piece of work to the 2023 Fired Up 4 auction which takes place on 19th October 2023.

I am featured in the Sept / Oct edition of Ceramic Review in their Potters on Pots feature.


Please describe your creative process/practice:

I throw in porcelain and decorate my pieces with hand screen printed transfer. From a distance my work may look like traditional Asian inspired ceramics, but up close it is very modern.

Your influences and motivations: 

Inspired by a small Imari bottle gifted to me as a child, my work today is how I found my voice and realised I had a lot to say .

Thoughts, stories, impressions and images torn into fragments and reassembled on my pieces. A metaphor for life, for my life. In reshaping my stories, new connections, new interpretations, are made. From family – my mother, grandmother, a great uncle – and the hands of an anonymous potter in Japan, has sprung work that has developed far beyond long-necked vessels and simple blue and white. I now create my own “families”, pieces differing in shape and size, scale, curve and decoration, but united in spirit. Oriental-inspired ceramics with a contemporary twist.

What is the best advice you have received? Tell us any benefits you have experienced. What advice would you give to an aspiring maker? 

Three things:

Bottoms matter – my work is decorated all over so the bottoms are as beautiful as the surfaces you see.

Edit – it’s important to be able to edit your work. This allows you to play, to have fun, to explore and if it doesn’t work it doesn’t matter – doing that will always lead you somewhere and keep you moving forward.

Pilates – keeping my core strong means that as all my school friends are retiring I have never been more busy and inspired. 

See Carolyn’s work at MADE London from 3 – 5 November.

See works for sale at MADE London