Kate Dawson Ceramic Artist

For me working with clay is largely about personal process, but I derive pleasure from others’ responses, because their observations often give the work another life which I could not have envisaged. So I don’t name the pieces, I don’t direct the viewer.

I spent years exploring many mediums, (painting, silversmithing, drawing, Chinese brush painting, textiles and more), eventually settling into ceramics in 2002. It was a coming home. Having acquired City and Guilds in 3d Design and Ceramics, I opted thereafter to self teach, supplemented with courses and workshops in specific techniques.

I am primarily interested in form and revel in the sensuality of the clay. Once I engaged with raku, I began to work with colour, albeit with a limited palette. The fascination is in the unexpected and makes the joy of achieving an exciting surface even more satisfying. The forms are inspired by the natural world and evolve in the making. Everything is hand built. I like the slow pace of it and the way sometimes the clay has its own ideas. All over the world, from West Africa to the pueblos of Mexico, hand building is still the main technique for making pots. Each pot is individual and bears the mark of the artist. Such work has an immediacy, intimacy and warmth. I hope I get somewhere near such with my work. There is constant development of shapes, ideas and inspiration, and hand building means each piece has its own personality. Most of my forms have small apertures. I enjoy the dichotomy between enclosed space and occupied space, between the mysterious and the obvious.

I live and work in Herefordshire and I draw strength from the borders landscape in all its moods. I take part in the Hereford Open Studios event each year and I exhibit in galleries all over the borders. I enjoyed the raku process but now I am working with different clays and enjoying the exploration and the challenge.