Archives for the month of: January, 2014

Stoneware Ceramic, with slips, oxides and glazes

Stoneware Ceramic, with slips, oxides and glazes

In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman on earth. Zeus ordered Hephaestus, the god of craftsmanship, to create her and he did, using water and earth. The gods endowed her with many talents; Aphrodite gave her beauty, Apollo music, Hermes persuasion, and so forth. Hence her name: Pandora, “all-gifted”.

When Prometheus stole fire from heaven, Zeus took vengeance by presenting Pandora to Epimetheus, Prometheus’ brother. With her, Pandora had a jar which she was not to open under any circumstance. Impelled by her natural curiosity, Pandora opened the jar, and all evil contained escaped and spread over the earth. She hastened to close the lid, but the whole contents of the jar had escaped, except for one thing which lay at the bottom, and that was Hope.

During recent years Valerie has developed her interest in Archetypes, Mythology, Symbolism and Nature through the visual arts, and specifically through sculptural form.

She experiments with Stoneware and porcelain clays together with Raku firings.  Oxides are rubbed into the surface and covered with opaque glazes giving a bone-like, soft parchment finish. The black, smoke-absorbing process of the clay during raku firing, provides a perfect background to the random colours and copper highlights of the glaze.

The mark making of early man found on local artefacts such as bronze age burial urns and carved stones are absorbed, re-used and brought to life again on contemporary works of art that have an ancient look and feel.

Each work arises from exploration into the unconscious and conscious mind.  Each work, in consequence, expresses aspects of our connected-ness to universal truths and the day to day reality of our human experience. By re-making and tracing the lines made by Bronze age people. early Celtic tribes or Neolithic stone carvers she brings a line from the past into the present and sees her work as a continuum of this process.

Valerie trained as a painter and sculptor in Aberystwyth with David Tinker, the founder of the visual arts department University College Aberystwyth.  With a growing family she discovered teaching art to children was a most rewarding and fascinating occupation. She has worked teaching art to children since the 80’s and in 1990 she founded The Little Art School which is currently a busy and thriving arts venue in Newcastle Emlyn.

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