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Wendy Kershaw Ceramics

September 23, 2019

There is something a tad dreamlike about the ceramic work of Wendy Kershaw.

She allows the viewers mind to wander and ponder about the situations that each character is portraying. After destroying some of her father’s roses by digging up clay to make things as a child, Wendy went on to graduate with first class honours from Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen, followed by a Masters degree at Cardiff. Her ceramic practice has continued over thirty years, as artist in residence in schools, further education tutor, ceramics technician at The Glasgow School of Art and master course leader at the International Ceramics Studio, Kecskemet, Hungary.

She was invited to three residencies in China, in the historic porcelain capital of Jingdezhen, Shanghai, and as part of the UK delegation to the FuLe International Ceramic Art Museums. These rich cultural experiences helped move her work in new directions, with the inclusion of decals and glaze. Her work is part of the permanent collection at Jingdezhen, FLICAM ceramic museums and the International Ceramics Studio.

She uses porcelain to illustrate an intimate world in which small acts of everyday life are imbued with importance. A sensitive balance of bold composition and subtle detail results in a rich narrative that is both weighty and humorous. Her work has playfully interpreted proverbs and poems, and recent work deals with anticipated small joys… often the joys of angels bringing Gin, Tea or Cake ! Her work makes me smile.

A selection of ceramic books and a glimpse into the studio world of a ceramist.

The books are constructed from porcelain slabs, forms include framed panels, with moveable pages and folding screens. Such delicasy and detail.

The intricate illustrations are etched with fine sewing needles onto the raw clay. Underglaze stains are washed on, erased and built up, and after high firing a layering of decals and enamels are applied and fired on. Sometimes the pieces are fired up to 4 times in order to build up the complex layers, textures and additions.

The scratchy surface and the blue layering of washes, contrast beautifully with the calm and serene figures. The decal faces are taken from young relatives and people Wendy knows but then are elongated and taken out of proportion to create the final long faced lasses.

Beautifully detailed work with flowers.

Hints of cooking and cake shops.

More tea anyone !

And the wonderful windy haired girls with branches, leaves and nestling birds.

You can follow Wendy here over on Instagram. Which are your favourites ?

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