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Susan Ramsay-Smith

Susan Ramsay-Smith
Category Ceramics, Sculpture
Listing date August 31, 2021

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Artist's description

My ceramics practice is underpinned by an ecological and environmental approach, processing Weald Clay dug from our farm near Heathfield. This unique, ferrous-rich material offers many exciting discoveries, such as its earthy, coarse qualities and potential to fire to stoneware temperatures. I exploit the material by combining thrown and hand-built components to create distinctive vessel and sculptural forms.

Through investigations of local iron heritage, I created a series of ceramic gunstone sculptures that incorporate a found 32lb cannon ball. Other works include pig iron cannons on wooden, wheeled carriages, that signify the relationship between the material and my ancestral landscape. I’m also inspired by indigenous wildlife like Bufo Bufo the common toad, which captivate me each year when they emerge from their earth homes to migrate back to the lake. Their bumpy textured skin and mottled colours directly influence the tonal glaze palette.

My interest for experimenting with naturally occurring clay deposits was stimulated by a studio visit to Danish potter Anne Mette Hjortshøj, on the island of Bornholm. Reflecting on this experience, I allow the alchemy and interplay between material and process to inform the outcome of the work.