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LH Braten – Ceramics

Q&A with Lise from LH Braten

Location: London

Discipline: Ceramics


Grove Vale Ceramics was established by makers Lise Herud Braten and Amanda-Sue Rope in 2020. Together they thoughtfully curate the gallery to showcase and champion the work of local contemporary ceramicists alongside guest makers from around the UK. Inside the gallery visitors have the opportunity to meet and talk with the makers who all participate in the running of the space. Grove Vale Ceramics presents an exciting display of work by contemporary ceramic makers, from distinctive tableware to decorative and sculptural artworks. 

Located in East Dulwich, south London, the gallery offers the opportunity for buyers, collectors, interior designers, architects and curators to view, purchase and commission works direct from the makers. 

Please describe your creative process/practice:

I create vases, vessels and natural, organic forms, rich in surface texture with colours referencing both nature and the urban environment. Memories of growing up in a rugged landscape in Norway inform both shapes and mark-making, imbuing the pieces with a sense of place.

Working with stoneware and porcelain clays, each piece is layered with slips, engobes, oxides, glazes and natural ash, applied in a painterly and abstract way. The resultant effect of this treatment suffuses the pieces with a sense of history, of time spent exposed and weathered by natural elements, giving a sense of timelessness to each piece. 

What are your influences and motivations?

My inspiration very much comes from the landscape I grew up in in Norway, rugged mountains, craggy rocks covered in ancient lichens, treebark, rocky beaches. I look at all these details, and try to emulate the feeling of natural aging and patina that comes from being exposed to the natural elements and weathering over time. I like my pieces to feel like they may have been found rather than freshly made, and that they invite touch and give a sense of connection to the natural landscape.

What are your sustainability / environmental credentials?

In my studio practise I endeavour to waste nothing, always recycling clay and other materials and generally being conscious of my footprint. Using energy is unavoidable for a ceramics artist, however I always make sure the kiln is completely full when firing, and also use a 100% green energy supplier.

What makes your work unique? Anything from materials, tools – are you a Heritage craft maker? 

My work is made using a range of techniques not normally combined. For instance, I throw shapes on the wheel, which I then distort or carve by hand and I layer many different slips and glaze materials to create surfaces that are rich in depth, colour and texture. I often use found objects as tools, and often work in an unplanned way, choosing to respond to what’s happening to a piece during the making process rather than creating something from a pre-conceived idea.

Does your work have a particular colour palate, or link to a particular styling? 

My work is inspired by the natural landscape, and details within it, and so my colour palette consists of soft tones, ochres, rust, bone, sand, moss greens and ocean blues. 

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

Don’t follow trends or make work based on what you think will sell, the best work you’ll make is the work that you’re really passionate about, that comes from your heart and soul, and represents who you are as a person, a maker and an artist. 

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

Click here to read a profile interview with Lise in the current issue of Ceramic Review magazine.