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Clare Palmer – Ceramics

Q & A with Clare Palmer
Location: London
Discipline: Ceramics

Please describe your creative process/practice:
My work is rooted in the personal, representing themes of
emotional impact – from upheaval to trauma.

Unusually for a maker, my sketch books consist primarily of words. My process begins with a written exploration of an
emotional experience or state of mind. Whilst doing this I get a strong visual impression of the direction a piece will take, which I doodle-sketch as an aide-memoire. This activity will also produce a one or two-word working title. With these, I start working with the clay.

I craft my one-off sculptures and vessels in a variety of stoneware and porcelain clays, using both throwing and handbuilding techniques.

My handbuilt sculptures are constructed directly on the kiln-shelves, using textured slabs: shaping, tearing, joining and lastly propping thoroughly to prevent unwanted warping in the kiln. After initial firing, oxides are layered up, before glazing with a
selection of glazes, to create subtle variations of colour and tone – with occasional dark accents – to reflect the narratives explored through the work.

My vessels start life as thrown forms which I make on the wheel before cutting, joining and distorting. Oxides and engobes are used sparingly to enhance details, before glazing with my quiet palette of glazes.

Short bio:
I am a ceramic artist making abstract, conceptual sculptures in my studio in North West London. I came to clay relatively late in life: my first career being in advertising as a strategic planner at several London advertising agencies. Making the decision to finally pursue my true passion of ceramics, I graduated from the City Lit Ceramics Diploma in 2017. 

Recent Exhibitions
Oxford Ceramics Fair – Oxford (October 23)
Celebrating Ceramics – Waterperry Gardens, Oxford
Collect (with Ruup & Form) – Somerset House, London

Winter Exhibition – New Ashgate Gallery, Farnham
The Decorative Fair (with Ruup & Form) – Battersea Evolution, London
Art in Clay – Royal Windsor Racecourse, Windsor
Fresh Air Sculpture Show – Quenington, Gloucestershire
Relational Dreams – The Bhavan, West Kensington, London

Art in Clay Farnham – The Maltings, Farnham
Celebrating Ceramics – Waterperry Gardens, Oxford
Affordable Art Fair – Battersea Park, London
Growth (curated by Thrown Contemporary) – OmVed Gardens, London –
The Art Buyer Winter Show – Thames Ditton, Surrey

Thrown Contemporary Winter Show – www.throwncontemporary.co.uk
ING Discerning Eye – www.ingdeexhibition.org
Made Makers – www.mademakers.co.uk

The best pieces of advice you have been given:
Respond to what is in front of you. If that means changing the original ideas you had, so be it.
If you can take something away and it still says the same thing, then it is more powerful.
In the maker world:
Try not to compare yourself to other people. (Especially hard in this era of social media).
Imposter syndrome is par for the course. Try to accept it and let it go.

Clare Palmer, Still and Always, Work in Situ (2 wall sculptures in a private house in Mayfair).

See works for sale at MADE London