View Image Gallery Matthew Blakely(Full member)Tel: +44 (0)1223 811959 Email: Web: www.matthewblakely.co.uk
The pieces that I make are ceramic illustrations of the colours and textures inherent in the wonderfully diverse geology of Britain, being made entirely from rocks, earth, clay and ash I have collected from various places around the country. The glazes and slips and, where possible, the underlying clay are all derived from geological samples obtained from specific locations. Each piece of work therefore illustrates the characteristics of particular places and comes with a CD containing images and geologic information about them.
Not only do I know the provenance of every ingredient, but have explored these areas, often on my hands and knees. There are no easy shortcuts in this process. Every visit is preceded by hours of research and much time spent gaining permissions to collect materials. Once home the rocks have to be crushed and ground to a powder, then blended with other rocks in countless tests to find just the right balances that will bring out their beauty. All the ingredients become extremely time rich and so gain a very high value. Nothing is wasted. Every spilt drop is carefully scooped up and retained. There is nothing slapdash about the way I work.
We live a life that is increasingly distanced from the physicality of the Earth and are in danger of losing understanding of our connection with and dependence on it. My ceramics invoke a new way of looking at our countryside, its history and our relationship to it. As a personal journey it has been, and continues to be, revelatory; profoundly changing my appreciation of the land beneath our buildings, roads and feet. This is my inspiration.
Softly thrown, fluid, functional pots made in porcelain and saltglazed
stoneware. Glazes and slips are used that that enhance the qualities of
the forms and try to capture the making process in the finished pot.
Porcelain is fired in an LPG brick and fibre kiln to cone 9/10 in reduction. These pots are glazed with combinations of blue celadon. satin white, fluid blue, fluid yellow, crystalline white/blue and tenmoku glazes, though I am constantly researching new glazes. The current salt kiln is a raised catenary arch with internal fireboxes and can be fired with gas and/or wood. Pots are fired to cone 11 with reduction between 1000 and around 1150°C. Salt is introduced at cone 9. Both kilns are specifically designed and built.
Currently teaching at Wysing Arts, and Hills Rd. Sixth form College, Cambs. Available for teaching, classes, demonstrations or workshops.
June 1995 - Alumni Exhibition, Cell Block Theatre, East Sydney TAFE.
Pottery in Australia Vol 39 No.4 ‘Pots to live with'.p50-51
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Contact DetailsStudio Address: 9 Abbey Lane, Lode, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK, CB5 9EP.
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Telephone: +44 (0)1223 811959
Availability: New workshop now complete and visitors most welcome by appointment. Please phone to avoid disappointment.
Matthew is running a series of courses and workshops in the first 3 months of 2010 on Throwing, Porcelain and Stoneware following the success of last years courses - BOOK EARLY!
Last Updated: 2013-04-29
Events featuring this potter
Art in Clay - Hatfield House : Art in Clay 2014
Cambridge Open Studios : Cambridge Open Studios
9 Abbey Lane : Matthew Blakely - Open studio in Cambridge