Craig Underhill. Stourbridge, West Midlands, England. UK.
I want my work to evoke the feeling of landscapes that I have visited or travelled through. I am influenced by my environment and the landscape on an intimate and small scale as well as a vast large scale. I am particularly influenced by the inconsequential visual effects that are created in landscapes around me by the repetitive and methodical actions of humankind as we go about our day to day or year to year routines. Often these physical marks, structures or patterns can be the result of seemingly unimportant everyday life and yet they say something fundamental about human nature and our relationship with the natural world.
The direction and development of my work is strongly affected by my continual interest in exploring materials and techniques, like most ceramists I am fascinated by the aesthetics and characteristics of materials and the way they changes when different processes are applied to them. For me, much of the fascination of making my work is in the exploration and discovery of finding new ways to express ideas.
I use the surface of my slab built vessel forms like a canvas onto which I apply mark-making techniques, layers of engobe, slip and underglaze colours when the clay is leatherhard and then build up more layers as the clay dries. The work is fired to 1140°C and then more layers of engobe are applied before oxides and glossy glaze is used to highlight details. Exploring ideas through drawing is an important part of the making process. I tend to do this before committing myself to the ceramic pieces. However I don’t over plan as this would negate the spontaneous and unplanned effects that can occur and often enhance my work.
artist bio at onlineceramics.com
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