Rough with the smooth
Looking around the exhibition this morning I was struck yet again at the huge array of work that can be created from clay. From Remon Jephcott’s wafer thin plates, through Paul Cardew’s velvet smooth vases and Claire Palastanga’s spiky sculptural vessels to Pauline Lee’s textured toros and vessels, there is an amazing range of work that comes under the umbrella of ceramics.
Texture is very much the signature style of Pauline Lee’s striking ceramics. Her wonderful torsos were a highlight of my last exhibition, Everything in the Garden is Lovely and I’m so pleased that she has created two new pieces for this show. Both torsos have a delicate turquoise wash, and Pauline has textured the surface by impressing and embossing the clay with leaves, flowers and twigs she collects from her garden on Dartmoor; the effect is very arresting.
Pauline has used a similar technique on her Lantern Jar where she has made stamps and rollers from natural materials to create the ornate texture. At the top of the jar she has cut an opening in the clay to allow space for a tea light candle and her design has penetrated the surface to create gaps for the light to shine through. The surface of the Tropical Vessel mixes rough and smooth – lozenge shaped turquoise details look like semi precious stones set in a slightly gilded vase finished with a decidedly tropical top – a very desirable and striking piece.