Joan Doherty's animal forms have their origin in the work of the
unnamed Staffordshire potters who produced models of domestic animals,
often cats and dogs, of great simplicity and charm.
Her pieces are made using inventive combinations of press moulding and hand building. She uses these techniques in an uncomplicated way, always trying to reveal the plastic nature of the clay, working directly with simple tools, shaping, marking and texturing.
The soda firing process is used to highlight and enhance the three dimensional quality of the forms. The sodium vapour bites into the coloured slip surfaces sometimes tracing the curves and folds of the form with the gentle marks of the flame, sometimes encapsulating them in a rich orange peel glaze.
Ornament is a concept not widely valued by contemporary potters but which has a place in the history of ceramics rich with meaning. Finding objects to adorn our homes is a deeply felt human need. Joan Doherty's cats and dogs decorate with a rare combination of innocence, sophistication and honesty.
Soda-vapour fired stoneware animal forms.
Work generally available from:
Bowie Gallery, Hay-on-Wye
Church House Designs, Congressbury near Bristol
Temple Gallery, Birmingham
Loes & Rienier, Deventer, Holland
The Arc, Chester
Also work may be purchased direct by visiting the show-room in my studio
Propane catenary arch soda kiln; fired to cone 10.
Raw fired, coloured slips.
Born in Belfast in 1949, I worked at Kilkenny Design Workshops after Art College in Belfast. More recently in Herefordshire with Jack (Doherty) where we have a studio pottery in a converted cider barn overlooking the beautiful countryside between the river Wye and the Forest of Dean. In 2005 I moved to Wales. I use porcelain and stoneware clays, often stained and textured, to make hand built and modelled sculptural pieces. The animal forms are high fired in a soda vapour kiln to produce lustre and "orangepeel" glazes, matt and shiny surfaces.
Training and Experience
1966-1970 - Ulster College of Art and Design
1971-1976 - Kilkenny Design Workshops
1976-1977 - Own workshop Kilkenny
1978-1983 - Own workshop County Down
1983 - present - Own workshop Herefordshire.
1974 - Gold Medal International Ceramics Exhibition, Faenza Italy.
1976 - Gold Medal International Ceramics Exhibition, Vallauris France
1973 - "The Craftsmans Art" in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
1973 - Exhibition in Alberta, Canada.
1974 - International Ceramics Biennial, Vallauris France.
1976 - International Ceramics Exhibition, Faenza ltaly.
Work has been included in many touring exhibitions in Germany, Scandinavia, Sweden and Texas and has also been seen at the 'British Craft Centre' Gallery in London.
Arts Council of Northern Ireland
Museum of Ceramics, Faenza, Italy