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Richard Heeley Potters Gallery



The designs for my work are developed on the North Wales coast of the Llyn Peninsula. I spend a quarter of my working year recording the textures, shapes, colours and structures of the landscape in a variety of media. This rich source of inspiration has a simple quiet affinity with the clay and processes that I use.

My work varies between stoneware oxidation and reduction fire depending on the desired surface finish, colour of the clay body and glaze quality. I draw on Eastern ceramic traditions to influence designs and techniques: stoneware glazes and forms from Song China, construction and firing techniques from Japan and Korean brush decoration.

I pursue confident fluid brushwork. I spend long hours repeating and refining my designs to gain a spontaneous feel and restrained simplicity that matches the thrown clay. My aim is for the patterns to work in harmony with the form and suspend comfortably within the compositional space created by the dimensions of the pot.

My work is influenced by a deep appreciation of Korean 16th century ware from the Chosôn dynasty. The brushed decoration is a combination of slips made from local clay, and found and hand-ground scrap flake iron. I mix this pigment or 'Gosu', to use the Japanese name, myself. This produces a rich variation in colour, brush stroke quality, texture and depth.

I have been handling clay for over twenty years. I formally trained at Manchester Metropolitan University in Ceramics and Design, achieving my BA Hons by specializing in reduction fire and oriental ceramics. Since graduating in 1996 I have worked as a ceramic technician, taught evening classes and Foundation and exhibited independently.

The intimate contact with ceramics when eating and drinking is also very important to my work. Being married to a professional chef who has a passion for ceramics helps me to design the pots; form and finish appropriate to recipes and food that inspires.

All these influences combine with my working practice and forge together the ideas and experiments with which I start to create a range of work. Decisions are made about which glaze, kiln and surface quality best suits the designs. The aim is to produce work with a quiet voice; a subtle eastern palette, strong confident form and compositions that capture a sense of landscape and harmony - hopefully a joy to use and live with.

Technical:

My work is stoneware and porcelain 1280?C the glaze fire will vary between electric oxidation and gas fire reduction depending on the clay, glaze and design. Under-glaze decoration is applied with hand mixed 'Gosu' slips. I mix and blend my own recipes from local clay and hand ground 'flake Iron' to give natural variation and colour within the brush stroke.

Memberships:

  • London Potters.
  • North Wales Potters.
  • Surrey Guild of Craftsmen.

    Teaching Demonstrations and Lectures:

  • Head of 3D Department - Sutton College of Learning for Adults.
  • 3D Design Senior Lecturer BTEC EDEXEL Foundation
  • Pottery evening classes teacher since1998.
  • 2009: Demonstrator at V&A Ceramic Galleries opening.
  • 2009: V&A visiting ceramic lecture -'The ceramic process'.
  • 2009: V&A visiting demonstration and talk- 'Brush decoration'.

    Galleries:

  • Surrey Guild Gallery - Milford. www.surreyguild.com
  • Farnham Maltings - Farnham.
  • Bank Gallery - Chobham.
  • Mine Gallery - Carshalton. www.mineonline.co.uk
  • Oxford Ceramics: - www.oxfordceramics.com
  • www.oakwoodceramics.co.uk

    Exhibitions:

  • 2012: Hand Made in Britain - Chelsea craft fair.
  • 2012: Earth & Fire - Rufford Country Park.
  • 2012: Spirit of Spring - Farnham Maltings.
  • 2011: Surrey Guild Christmas Fair - Guildford.
  • 2011: Showcase with Oakwood Ceramics at the Thoresby Gallery.
  • 2011: Dulwich Ceramic & Glass fair.
  • 2008 - 2010: ICR Christmas Fair.
  • 1998 - 2011: London Potters Morley show.

    Contact:
    richardheeley@blueyonder.co.uk
    www.richardheeley.com