The art of fine porcelain ceramics

A few weeks ago, on a foggy February morning I took a drive out to the Kent coastal town of Faversham. Creek Creative part of the towns old brewery building is now home to a collection of artists, designer makers and highly skilled crafts people. My visit was to photograph two of the people that reside in this hotbed of creativity; Rose Dickinson, a ceramic artist and Alex Law, an upholsterer that also designs and prints his own fabrics.

In this post I want share my images of Rose and her work.

Before Christmas I visited Rose to discuss my project documenting designer makers and their work, so I already knew exactly what her studio and workspace was like. Happily by the time I arrived and I started photographing, the mornings fog had lifted and warm sunlight filled her workspace.

Rose’s studio is overflowing with the materials she collects and her work in various stages of completion. I am instantly drawn to what I believe is a piece of art hanging on one of her walls. It looks like a sculpture formed from various items, all kinds of textures and colours from nature. It turns out to be a collection of the things that Rose uses to create and inspire her delicately detailed ceramics. In her own words “you just can’t beat nature!”

Rose’s work is inspired by nature from around the Kentish countryside and marshes near where she lives. Unfortunately I don’t get to see the beginning stages of her creative journey, when she uses natures textures she has found to imprint pieces made from fine porcelain clay. A fresh batch of work is ready to come out of the kiln and after carefully unpacking it, she adds subtle colourful details to each piece before glazing and finally firing again.

Like all the artists and creators I have been visiting, they make what they do appear almost effortless. Piece by piece Rose applies and removes colour, but it is clear by the way she handles her work, this effortlessness is born of years of practice. Once again it’s a wonderful inspiration to see someone’s lifetime of experience coming together as they create something new.

You can see more images from my visit to Rose’s studio on my website here , and more of Rose’s work here

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Thank you for reading this post about Rose and her work, I hope you enjoyed it. It is part of a larger project to document and celebrate designer makers and their work.

Bold & Colourful Textile Artist

My second visit to document the work of a crafts person takes me to Denmark Hill in South East London and down a rather unassuming alley next to a pub. Behind the gates, past the landlords mass pile of junk and up the stairs of an old and dilapidated warehouse, lies the studio of textile artist Michelle House. Her work combines striking bold and colourful shapes overlaid with abstract photographic images. With careful planning, meticulous mathematical precision and skill that is only achieved from years of practice, she pieces each intricate part of her designs together as screen prints. She creates them all by hand, no mechanical clamps or modern screen printing benches. Each piece is unique. The prints are then either stretched over a frame or the edges are hand stitched to create a wall hanging.

Michelle studied at Goldsmiths College before starting on a full time career as an artist. She has exhibited all over the world, at numerous shows including Collect at the Saatchi Gallery.

I spent the day with Michelle as she was starting to prepare and print three new pieces for an up coming show. Her work can take weeks to complete, depending on the size and complexity. So I will have to return to see how these pieces progress.

One of the reasons I started this project was because of my own experiences at art college and how I had dabbled with all manors of process and techniques for creating art. Observing Michelle as she prepared her canvas and built her designs up, I was taken back to my college days remembering that satisfying feeling as an idea slowly emerged into a fully realised piece of art, very loosely speaking when referring to my college attempts!

I feel very lucky to have been able to gain an insight into how Michelle creates her work. Below are a few images from the day.

Take a look at her website here, and mine; jhyturley.com for more images from the day.

Enjoy.

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Turning used coffee into striking Jewllery

Tucked away near London Fields, in a small hand built garden workshop, Rosalie McMillan is designing and making some surprising and strikingly unique jewellery. Her raw material of choice, coffee. Recycled and repurposed, used coffee grounds are transformed and set with silver or gold into exquisite asymmetrical bold jewellery. A long held passion for designing and making has now become a new career. I recently visited Rosalie in her workshop as she created a new and exciting piece for her current collection. She took me through her process of creation (well less a process and more a journey of discovery) as she masterfully transformed a rough brown block of the raw coffee material and a few pieces of silver.

Here are a few images that I hope do justice to her hard work and creativity.


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If you would like to see more images from my shoot with Rosalie please visit my website

Creators Makers Artists

In November last year I started a new photographic project. One I expect will keep me busy for some time. The project is to visit and document craft people, designer makers, their work, spaces and process.

I’m really excited about this project and the people I will meet for a couple of reasons. The first is because many of the crafts and art forms I will encounter are ones I explored years ago at art college. So I’m looking forward to seeing true masters in action. The second reason is because many of the traits that make the people I will be meeting true artisans and skilled designer makers are the same traits a photographer needs to succeed. Patience, dedication, doing it for love not riches, personal creative gratification, the list goes on. So for these two reasons I will be gaining great personal inspiration, meeting a myriad of new and interesting people, all whilst doing what I love.

I will be meeting textile artists, potters, jewellers, furniture makers, leather workers, knitters and upholsterers and more. At the end of it I hope to have a collection of images that show the people, their unique work and what it takes to make their creations. And hopefully these will come together as a book.

In my next two posts I will be sharing the images from the first two people I have met. Rosalie, a jewellery maker that uses recycled coffee grounds, and Michelle, a textile artist that mixes photography and bold colours to create bold and exciting wall prints.

I hope you’ll follow and enjoy my journey.

To see more of my photographic work please visit my website: jhyturley.com

My top 5 Ted Talks from photographers

In no particular order!

I’ve watched these countless times. They are by inspiring people telling powerful stories.

I hope you find them the same.

http://www.ted.com/talks/giles_duley_when_a_reporter_becomes_the_story

Silence in the Square

Every year, we as a nation remember those who have fallen defending our way of life. At the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, a Two Minute Silence is observed on Armistice Day, the day which marks the end of the First World War.

This year The Royal British Legion asked members of the Royal Photographic Society to go along and document the hard work of their collectors. The people who put in the hours around central London, collecting funds for the Poppy Appeal; helping the current and ex-serving personnel in terms of their welfare, comradeship, representation and remembrance.

I went along to Trafalgar Square in London for Silence in the Square, a morning of music and readings that preceded the 2 minute silence at 11am.

Below are a few of the portraits I captured of the veterans, volunteers, collectors and general public, plus a few moments that caught my eye.

Please have a look at my website for more shots from the morning here:

Silence in the Square Portraits
Silence in the Square Moments

For me, the most rewarding part of the experience was meeting so many wonderful people, hearing their experiences and how important the work of The Royal British Legion is to them. Find out more about the their work and the charity here.

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