Second in our Q&A series we have another of the Sale Arts Trail organisers and fabulous ceramicist Sarah Malone.
What is your practice? materials? processes?
Using slip-casting, throwing and hand-building techniques I make small bottles, cups, bowls and lidded vessels. Driven by the desire for beauty and perfection and influenced by Japanese Inro, I attach coloured silk threads and porcelain beads to my work. I do not make with a function in mind; instead I am ruled by my heart and of being in the moment. I try to be true to the material and the processes and in doing so allow the material to speak for itself. I believe we are drawn to certain objects not just for their aesthetic beauty but the energy contained within them and this is what drives my practice.
What 5 words best describe your work?
Ceremony . Honesty . Delicacy . Intimacy . Narrative
Do you have any design heroes?
My design hero would probably be William Morris, for his philosophy on art and design and for giving us the ‘The Arts and Crafts Movement’. I am going to break the rules here though and add the poet and Buddhist monk; Ryokan. The artists: Anthony Gormley and Barbara Hepworth. I would also like to mention potters: Bernard Leach, Shoji Hamada, Lucy Rie, Hans Coper and more recently Margaret and David Frith.
Where is your studio? Pictures?
I work from my home studio in Sale. A few years ago we converted the old 60’s style concrete panel garage that was standing in the drive. We insulated it and clad it with wood, so it looks a bit like a timber cabin now. It’s a great place to work from, it’s so convenient as well as toasty warm in winter.
Describe in 10 words a typical day in your studio
Spinning wheel, wet clay, hands working, body aching, happy face!
Are you working on anything unusual at the moment?
Inspired by Japanese Tea ceremonies, I have been making porcelain spoons with bamboo handles. Its early days in the design/making process but I would like to make a series, varying in scale. I would also like to combine them with my signature red thread and porcelain beads. Watch this space!
What are you selling at the Christmas Bazaar? Anything new?
I will be selling my usual range of bottles, cups, bowls and lidded vessels but I will also have some new hand built trays, which are perfect for those Christmas nuts, sweets and chocolates. Oh, and some Christmas decorations too.
Tell us something we don’t know
I have recently been lucky enough to photograph my ceramics in the setting of the Japanese Gardens at Tatton Park in Cheshire. It’s been a true privilege and an honour. I have thoroughly enjoyed it and it has sparked ideas for new work.