Work in progress currently follows two trends; small hand-built sculptures in "Ice" porcelain, and porcelain paper-clay tiles and panels; these are decorated using pure porcelain slips.
In 2012 colour, in the form of stained porcelain, was re-introduced as a second strand to studio production. An Arts Council Research Grant enabled an in-depth period of study into the Japanese technique, Nerikomi. As a result, the practice now includes a body of items illustrating a long term fascination with pattern. Though practice output is still informed by the natural world, this recent exploration has expanded the use of pattern, and works referencing textiles are beginning to emerge, signposting a refreshed fourth decade of studio development.
Work generally available from:
Knaresborough studio (Visitors by appointment only)
In the spring of 2010 Maggie Barnes was awarded an Arts Council Research & Development Grant. The intention was to mark 30 years of practice by re-visiting a technique she’d experimented with 20 years earlier whilst living and working in Germany.
Beyond the research period, a body of work is to be developed to complement her well-established white porcelain production, and move studio practice forward into a fourth decade of development.
The process is NERIKOMI, a Japanese technique involving the lamination of stained porcelain slabs to create intricately patterned blocks and sheets of clay which are then cut and re-assembled to form decorative vessels. Although the process is historic, the nature of assembly means that the maker is able to produce his/her unique interpretations.
It’s important to note that the emphasis of this experimental work is on process; with faults, failures, and downright disasters shown alongside early successes. Maggie believes that to fail is a necessary part of the learning experience, and that lasting skills are acquired through hard work, long hours, and many disappointments.
The various outcomes from this intensive period of exploration are to be showcased in September 2012 at the Mercer Art Gallery, Swan Road, Harrogate, where Maggie will give an illustrated talk later in the autumn.
Preview September 21st. A small publication recording this period of Research & Development can be ordered direct from Maggie priced £5 postage free or from the Gallery shop.
MAGGIE BARNES August 2012
I have watched Maggie as she has progressed through the past two years of Research and Development and these are my observations of that process.
It was clear that her objective from the outset was to undertake a major creative challenge; a new approach to working clay. This quickly became the development of coloured clay lamination as an intrinsic part of a new set of forms. Her involvement with laminated colour up to then had been purely decorative. She knew how to process the clay and already had a refined technique for working and producing agate patterning. Her strategy has been to simplify in order to gain confidence and fluency with the medium. Agate clay is a very seductive material. The practitioner must be rigorous and disciplined to maintain a focus. Early on she confessed to feeling adrift; to finding it hard to see the way forward. This uncertain and tentative start in which, she said, she had simply been 'playing' nonetheless provided a first batch of material for critique. By using outside help to analyze these pieces she became clearer about direction and sufficiently assured to continue. Excited by the possibilities she could glimpse she immersed herself in making, using simple cylindrical form to carry her experiments. This pattern of work has carried her through a wealth of problems. She has focused her attention in light of critical responses, dealt with design issues, structural and material concerns and adjustment of technical skills. She overcame a major technical problem of bloating after many trials and must by now be expert in the field.
Maggie has maintained an exemplary working practice, regular and rigorous studio hours, a full and complete record of progress and frequent evaluation sessions. At each stage of development she has taken stock, been able to analyze the problems, recognize the successful elements and redirect her attention appropriately. It was exciting to witness her moving from uncertainty to confidently bringing a complexity of elements and techniques from her previous work into designs for the new pieces. At this point the transition to new work had happened; she was no longer playing, and was in control.
To reappraise one's output to this extent; to launch into unknown territory at a mature stage of one's career and to open one's mind to new possibilities is both daring and determined. To succeed in reaching one's goal is a major achievement. I am certain that this body of work is just a start. Maggie's creative energy and intent to produce ceramics of the highest calibre will drive her onward. The thoughtful rationale underpinning this work has its roots in the very best traditions of European contemporary ceramics. The precision and sharpness of porcelain juxtaposed with the organic complexity of laminated interventions is exciting and full of potential that will continue to inspire her. This body of work is a testament to a hardworking and fruitful period of development in the life of an outstanding British potter.
MAL MAGSON BA Hons., Professional Potter. Lecturer in Fine Art Ceramics (Retired)
1976-1979 Harrogate College of Art and Design - Studio Ceramics
1979 Accepted as licentiate member of the Society of Designer-Craftsmen
1981 New Ceramics - Rufford Craft Centre
1982 Northern Handbuilders - Cleveland College of Art & Design
Carved and Poerced Porcelain - Bohun Gallery, Henley-on-Thames
Ceramics '82 - Rufford Craft Centre
1983 Solo exhibition - Keramik-Galerie Bowig, Hannover, Germany
Mostly porcelain - Chestnut Gallery, Bourton-on-the-Water.
1984 Northern Potters Association - York City Art Gallery.
1985 International Ceramics
Inaugural exhibition - Neue Keramik-Galerie Bowig, Hannover, Germany
Solo exhibition - Marie Jordan Gallery, Wakefield
Accepted as a full member of the Society of Designer-Craftsmen.
1986 Eight approaches to porcelain - Amalgam Gallery, London
10th anniversary exhibition - Gallery "L" Hamburg, Germany.
1987 Porcelain - Rufford Craft Centre
Kunst und Antiquitaten Messe - Galerie "L" Hannover, Germany
Burg Coraidelstein Residency
Guest colleague of Keramik Meister Wendalin Stahl
Englische Kontraste - with Geoffrey Swindell - Galerie Bowig
Wendalin Stahl und Maggie Barnes - Ewers Galerie, Cologne.
1988 Bottles & Bowl book launch "Ceramic Form" by Peter Lane Craftsmen.
1989 Artist in Residence at:
- Scarborough & District primary schools - sponsored by Marks & Spencer and Yorkshire Arts
- Barnado's - Ian Tetley Memorial School - Sponsored by Barnardo's and Yorkshire Arts
- Rockley Mount School for the disabled - Sponsored by the Hawley Trust
- Whitby & District primary schools - Sponsored by Yorkshire Arts
Appointed manager/consultant to GORDON REECE CERAMICS
Ceramiques d'Europe - Atelier 18 Brussels, Belgium.
1990 Trente Ceramistes - Atelier 18 Brussels, Belgium.
1991 Austellung am Buss und Bettag - Cochem-Brauheck, Germany, with Jochen Kuhnhenne, Natalja Sawinowa & Wasilij Zygankow
Christmas Exhibition - Atelier 18 Brussels, Belgium.
1992 Maggie Barnes "Showcase" - Galerie "L" Hamburg, Germany
Wendalin Stahl und Gaste - Westerwaldmuseum, Germany
Triennale de la Porcelaine - Nyon, Switzerland
Maggie Barnes Porcelaine - Atelier 18 Brussels, Belgium
Presentable Pots - Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead, UK.
1993 Established EUROPEAN CERAMICS GALLERY, Knaresborough - Inaugural exhibition featured forty artists from across Europe.
1994 Undercurrents - A ten-month touring exhibition of work inspired by the sea and seashore
Warrington Art Gallery, Williamson Art Gallery, Birkenhead Oldham Art Gallery, Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, Turnpike Gallery, Leigh, Lancashire.
"On the Tiles" exhibition in aid of Shelter - Rufford Craft Centre.
1995 Series of exhibitions to launch the book, "Contemporary Porcelain" by Peter Lane
Zeitgenossische Porzellan, Keramik-Galerie, Bowig
Contemporary Porcelain, EUROPEAN CERAMICS GALLERY, UK
International Porcelain, Candover Gallery, UK
Ligne Porcelaine, Kortrijk, Belgium.
1999 The Warehouse Gallery, home of EUROPEAN CERAMICS demolished to make way for a Social housing project.
2001 Autumn, Porcelain & Paper: Awarded a Research and Development Grant by the Yorkshire Arts Board in order to explore the qualities and characteristics of the two materials and how they might be combined.
2002 Spring and Summer Launch of new work at the Knaresborough Studio.
2003 Art Connections: Launch Event at Skipton Castle North Yorkshire
Harrogate District Open Exhibition: Mercer Gallery—Harrogate
"White Porcelain" St Joseph Galerie Leeuwarden Netherlands
"Open House" Solo exhibition at The Studio, Knaresborough.
2004 "Coloured Porcelain" St Joseph Galerie Leeuwarden Netherlands
"Christmas Present" Shipley Art Gallery Gateshead
"New Porcelain" The Studio Knaresborough.
2005 Coloured Porcelain - St. Joseph Galerie - Netherlands,
Christmas Present - Shipley Art gallery - Gateshead UK
New Porcelain - The Studio - Knaresborough UK
2005 - 2007 Freelance advisor to Art Connections and Chrysalis Arts - North Yorkshire.
2008 Monochrome - Lund Gallery - Easingwold - North Yorkshire
The Sea - Keramiek Centrum - Tiendschurr - Netherlands
Harrogate Open exhibition - Mercer Art gallery - Harrogate - Prize-winner -3 items purchased for the permanent collection
"120" - Society of Designer-Craftsmen Gallery - London - 120th Anniversary of the creation of theArts & Crafts Movement by William Morris
2009 Working sabbatical with Mal Magson - Studio Hoogland - Netherlands
2010 - 2012 Arts Council supported Research & Development Project Winter exhibition - Lund Gallery - Easingwold - North Yorkshire
2012 Nerikomi - Showcase Launch Event- Mercer Art Gallery - Harrogate
2000 - EUROPEAN CERAMICS at the Yorkshire Museum
2000 - EUROPEAN CERAMICS 2000 at Lotherton Hall
2000 - Eric James Mellon at the Yorkshire Museum.
2001 - White Gold - studio porcelain at the Mercer Gallery
2001 - Ashraf Hanna at the Mercer Gallery
2002 - EUROPEAN CERAMICS opened showcases alongside the W.A. Ismay collection at the 2002 - Yorkshire Museum, Museum Gardens, York.
2003 - EUROPEAN CERAMICS at the Yorkshire Museum - a major solo exhibition by Gabriele Koch.
2004 - EUROPEAN CERAMICS at Birthwaite Hall - an exhibition of new work by Sarah-Jane Selwood