Rich Red – Heather Armstrong


Rich Red

Maker: Heather Armstrong

Medium: Smoke Fired Terracotta Vessel with Impressed Decoration

Diameter 19 cm x Height 17 cm

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About the Artist

Until recently I have dedicated my time to my family and to my career as a medical doctor. On finding that my children had become independent, I decided to pursue new challenges and indulged myself by undertaking some exploration and education into creative activities. While discovering reward in many artistic disciplines it is ceramic art that allows me to work with a professionally engrained need for control and precision while letting the materials I work with exert their own influence on the outcome.

My ceramic pieces are hand built by coil and slab techniques using a variety of clay bodies. Surface decoration is achieved by smoke firing in a container (metal dustbin!) Surface marks are made by the action of smoke on a low fired ceramic surface. Colour arises as the largely unpredictable product of burning different materials to make the smoke. I love the energy and warmth that this technique brings to the work.

It is the natural world which moves me – it’s the big stuff; the mountains, the sea, the rocks, the rivers and glaciers. It’s the energy in the wind and the water. It’s the colour and flow of the seasons. These are the things that more usually inspire my expressive choices. However, following a recent conversation, I found myself remembering my experiences of India where I spent time as a medical student. I recollect bustling noise and colour, dusty heat, monsoon floods, lush green plantation, grandiose architecture, religious symbolism – all of these finding their way into the pattern and rhythm of a small series of Indian inspired work which is included in this exhibition

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