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Statement

I make clay vessels, coil-building and refining with meditative focus, striving for harmony of form and surface. I use gritty textured clays, raw surfaces and smoke-firing to make statement pieces for interiors and curated collections of pairs and groups.  
 
My first contact with clay was at age 12 in High School when we were asked to model an elephant. The clay felt right in my hands; my response was profound, and I found my vocation in that moment. Later I trained in 3D Design and Ceramics in the Midlands and went on to produce thrown tableware for many years, establishing studios in Derby and then rural Dumfriesshire where I began hand-building in 2017.
 
I am fascinated by the distant echoes of shapes from the past: pottery made in matriarchal societies, used for food and long forgotten ritual practices. My work draws on certain sophisticated forms from the European neolithic and other more familiar historical world ceramics. 
 
I work like a sculptor, simultaneously dealing with inner volume, outer form and surface. The vessels reflect my body: the arc of my arm drawing the metal tool, the shape of my hand refining the surface and rim. The mark making is deliberate, creating movement and a texture which smoke and light will enhance. Spiralling up diagonally from centre to rim, the marks emphasise circularity. 
 
These vessels also evoke a holding and containing space: feminine forms, often with wide hips and generous bellies. The lip detail defines the vital transition between inner volume and the outer space while refinements in foot, belly, shoulder and neck affect the tranquillity and balance of form: lively, subdued, hopeful or dignified.
 
I practice yoga and I chant while I work. The Sanskrit yoga mantra Om Namah Shivaya translates as ‘Let the elements abide in me’. My intention is that some of that meditative mindset is retained within the work as clay, air, fire and water combine.
Ruth Elizabeth Jones