Karen Hanvidge https://www.karenhanvidgeceramics.com/
Since my first introduction to clay as a child growing up in California I have been completely seduced by the pliability of this medium. I have drawn and painted since childhood and in my mid 40s I applied for art school to fulfil a long-held dream to work with clay. I felt compelled to discover how I could combine my love of drawing and painting with designing and making with clay. I was overjoyed to be accepted onto the Ceramics Design part-time degree course at the globally recognized Glasgow School of Art and in 2011 I completed my BA (Hons) degree.
My early life growing up in a sunny and sometimes sun-bleached environment influenced my artistic development with its contrast of vibrancy and the faded stimulating my senses. I love a vibrant pop of colour as much as a faded and worn former beauty. I continue to search out and develop themes of form, colour and pattern and enjoy using simple shaped forms which complement my designs and act as canvases to explore. Trying not to over-analyse while working, I often let the process guide me to the next stage. I delight in the unexpected with words, music and stories often leading my clay meanderings. I don’t strive for the perfect but prefer to leave a human element to my work showing surrender to natural impulses, colourways and mark making.
Now living and working from my studio in Renfrewshire I continue to explore new ideas and my local town of Paisley, and its heritage paisley pattern have been an immense inspiration in my designs and making. My designs are both decorative as well as functional. I predominately hand build my ceramics, finding this method more receptive to my methods and techniques of surface decoration. I often leave large areas on my work showing the natural colour of the clay to complement the designs and often use a potter’s knife to draw out designs on slabs of clay. Most of my designs are made taking many hours of work to design, make and complete and are a true labour of love.