Sasha Wardell has been working in bone china since 1982 after completing
both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in ceramics in the UK. These
included industrial training periods at L'Ecole Nationale des Arts Decoratifs in
Limoges and the design studio at the Royal Doulton factory, Stoke on Trent.
Both experiences have strongly influenced the way in which she presently works resulting in a fascination and intrigue for methods and material which present a challenge.
It is for this reason that bone china, with all its idiosyncrasies, has remained her favourite material. It is very 'single-minded' clay which forces clarity and precision whilst demanding perseverance. Possessing qualities of intense whiteness, translucency and strength, make it a very seductive material to work with.
Architectural detail and sections of structure, combined with an interest in illusions provide the starting point for the pieces whilst the inherent qualities of the clay do the rest - its whiteness offers a pure blank canvas for the application of colour and its translucency enhances any varying degrees of luminosity.
Slip cast bone china vases, bowls, wall lights and pendant lights.
Design work in production:
1981 Tableware design 'Ambassador' for Royal Grafton China, Stoke on Trent
Work is generally available from:
Contemporary Ceramics, Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, London, UK, WC1B 3BF.
Crafts Council Shop and Victoria and Albert Museum
Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool
JAM/Eton Applied Arts, Windsor
St. Joseph's Gallery, Leeuwarden, Holland
Contemporary Applied Arts, Percy Street, London
Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Bovey Tracy
Art in Action Gallery, Waterperry, Oxon
Workshop weekends in own Studio. Available for lectures and Demonstrations, Part-time Teaching.
Layered and Sliced/Incised coloured bone china slip. Also water erosion. 1260°C Firing in Electric Kiln. Polished, no glaze.
Bone china is a very seductive material to work with, possessing qualities of intense whiteness, translucency and strength. It is a very 'single-minded' clay, which forces the maker to work with clarity and precision. Its technical inflexibility and idiosyncratic making and firing characteristics might easily be a deterrent to investigation, however I consider these restrictions and limitations a challenge to
creativity and working methods.
I have adapted the industrial techniques associated with bone china production of mould making and slip casting to studio production. My particular interests lie in the translucent properties of this material and the differing degrees of luminosity possible. In order to enhance these qualities in my work I have developed three variations of decoration which aim to exploit this characteristic .
The first focuses on specific points of translucency by using a 'slicing and layering' technique. Subtle facets on the curved outer surface of the pieces involve slicing through 3 or 4 coats of different coloured slips to reveal underlying and increasingly transparent layers. Similar techniques exist in glass production which serve as the inspiration and starting point for this body of work. The second technique uses the same layering process as above, however, marks are made with a loop tool to 'incise' or gouge through the layers. This has the same effect of revealing the underlying colours until the interior layer is exposed.
Marine references inform the pattern making in this collection. The third process of water erosion' focuses on the entire surface of the piece using a single cast and no colour. The variations of translucency are achieved by painting an acrylic medium onto the raw cast. This acts as a resist when the piece is washed' with a damp sponge until a relief pattern appears. Marks and patterns are derived from organic sources and fabric design.
1956 Born in Negombo, Sri Lanka
1976-79 B.A. Hons. in 3D Design (Ceramics) at Bath Academy of Art, Corsham
1978 Studied Industrial Ceramics at Ecole Nationale des Arts Decoratifs, Limoges, France
1979-81 M.A. in Ceramic Design at North Staffordshire Polytechnic, Stoke on Trent
1980 Industrial Training at Royal Doulton, Stoke on Trent
1981-84 Lecturer in Ceramics on B.A. Combined Crafts degree at Crewe and Alsager
Since 1983 Visiting lecturer at Bath, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Carlisle, Central St. Martins London, Camarthan, Croydon, Leicester, Limerick and Stoke on Trent
1989 Member of Southern Arts Association (Crafts Panel); Member of Arts Feu Entreprise/Esprit Porcelaine (Ceramic group based in Limoges)
1989-96 Move to Brive La Gaillarde (France) to establish workshop and run residential summer courses
Since 1993 International workshops in Toulouse and Clermont Ferrand, France; Namur, Antwerp and Brasschaat, Belgium; Ballenberg and Carouge(Geneva)
1996-97 Re-establish workshop in England
1998-00 Research Fellowship at Bath Spa University College (part-time)
2000-03 External examiner for Diploma course at Limerick College of Art and Design, Eire
2005 Masterclass at Atelier Cirkel, Brasschaat, Belgium
Australian workshop tour at Mittagong, NSW: Devonport, Tasamania and Freemantle, WA.
2006 Masterclass at Atelier Cirkel, Brasschat and Liege, Belgium
Visting lecturer at Galway College of Art and Design, Eire.2007 Masterclass at Atelier Cirkel, Brasschaat, Belgium
2007 Masterclass at Atelier Cirkel, Brasschaat, Belgium
2008 Masterclass at Atelier Cirkel, Brasschaat and Gent, Belgium
2009 Masterclass at Atelier Cirkel, Brasschaat, Belgium; West Country Potters demonstrator, Cornwall; 0.4 Senior lecturer at De Montfort University, Leicester on Design Crafts degree
2010 Pending research project with Diffuse ( Porcelain Lighting Company); External examiner for Diploma course at York University ( 3 year post); Masterclass at Atelier Cirkel, Turnhout, Belgium.
2011 Masterclass in Gordola, Switzerland; Masterclass in Cascais, Estoril, Portugal; Masterclass at Atelier Cirkel, Turnhout, Belgium
2011 Elected member to the IAC (International Academy of Ceramics) Geneva, Switzerland
2012 Participant on "Crafted Mentoring Scheme"
Since 1982 has widely exhibited both Nationally and Internationally
Recent Group and Solo Shows
1996 '10th Anniversary' Galerie Amphora, Oosterbeek, The Netherlands; Galerie Carla Koch, Amsterdam; 'L'exposition Anglaise' Galerie Epona, Paris
1997 Eton Applied Arts, Windsor; Bettles Gallery, Ringwood; Galerie Epona, Paris; Printemps des Potiers, Bandol, France; Bohun Gallery, Henley on Thames; Derek Topp Gallery, Derbyshire
1998 Auction for Terrence Higgins Trust, Rufford Arts Centre, Notts;
'British Week Exhibition' Mayenne, France; Hugo Barclay, Brighton;
European Crafts Conference and Exhibition, Namur, Belgium
1999 Southwell Minster Millennium Show, Notts; Church House Designs, Congresbury, Bristol; Solo Show at Contemporary Ceramics Gallery, London; 'Amsterdam Tea Party' JBK Gallery, Amsterdam; Roger Billcliffe Gallery, Glasgow
2000 Ceramic Biennial 2000, Lucerne, Switzerland; 'White Gold' European Ceramics, Knaresborough, Yorks
2001 'Expanding Our Views' Loes and Reinier Gallery, Deventer, The
Netherlands; Solo Show at Marianne Brand Gallery, Carouge, Switzerland;
Wohnen und Kunst Handwerk, Hamburg, Germany
2002 Woodbury Gallery, Exeter; Galerie Fusion, Toulouse, France
2003 'Finely Fired' Craft in the Bay, Cardiff; RSBA, Birmingham; 'White Pieces' Rufford Craft Centre, Notts; "White Porcelain' St. Joseph Gallery, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
2004 'White weddings', Contemporary Applied Arts, London; 'Coloured Porcelain', St.Joseph Gallery, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands; 'Coup de Bols,' Belgium; 'Talent Show', Wedgwood, Japan
2005 Window exhibition , Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool; 'Naked Clay', Rufford Crafts Centre, Notts. Book launch exhibitions at Raglan Gallery, Manly, Australia; Fg3 Gallery, Hobart Tasmania; King's Park, Perth, Western Australia 'Jubilee Exhibition' St. Joseph Galerie, Leeuwarden, the Netherlands
2006 'The Yard' Nijimegen, The Netherlands; Loes and Reinier Gallery, Deventner, The Netherlands; Black Swan Gallery, Frome, Somerset; Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh; 'Porcelain Show' Sturt Gallery, Mittagong, NSW, Australia; Castle Museum, Inverness; Castle Museum, Inverness; Ceramics Ireland Festival, Kilkenny and Thomastown.
2007 Short course tutors exhibition, West Dean, Chichester; Porcelain Exhibition, 'Craft Focus' Devon Guild, Bovey Tracey; Avantcraft project - exhibitions in Kilkenny, Ireland, Paris, France, Coimbra, Portugal, Lugo, Spain, CPA 50th Anniversary show, Bevere Gallery, Worcestershire; Midland Potters show, RBSA, Birmingham; Porcelain Bowl exhibition, St. Joseph's Gallery, Leeuwarden.2008 Biennial of Ceramics, Andenne, Belgium; “Whiteware’ Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh; Ceramic Art London, Royal College of Art, London; Affordable Art Fair, Battersea, London; Russell-Cotes Art Gallery, Bournemouth; “Celebrate”, Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Bovey Tracey; Bonhams Contemporary Ceramics Sale, Knightsbridge, London; ‘Happy Christmas Clay’ Galerie Puls, Brussels; ‘Crafted’ Winchester
2008 Biennial of Ceramics, Andenne, Belgium; “Whiteware’ Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh; Ceramic Art London, Royal College of Art, London; Affordable Art Fair, Battersea, London; Russell-Cotes Art Gallery, Bournemouth; “Celebrate”, Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Bovey Tracey; Bonhams Contemporary Ceramics Sale, Knightsbridge, London; ‘Happy Christmas Clay’ Galerie Puls, Brussels; ‘Crafted’ Winchester
2009 ‘Select’ , Gallery Top, Derbyshire; Ceramic Art London, Royal College of Art, London; Contemporary Craft Fair, Bovey Tracey, Devon; Art in Action, Waterperry, Oxford; Art in Clay, Hatfield.
2010 Beaux Arts , Bath; Porthminster Gallery, St. Ives, Cornwall; Art in Action, Waterperry, Oxford; Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh; Porcelain Show, Turnhout Art Academy, Belgium.
2011 ‘Select 2’ , Gallery Top, Derbyshire; Ceramic Art London, Royal College of Art, London; Contemporary Craft Fair, Bovey Tracey, Devon.
1984 Grand Prix at 1st World Triennial of Small Ceramics, Zagreb
1986 British Council Sponsorship to attend Winter Artists' Colony, Karlovac, Croatia
1987 Zagreb Prize at 2nd World Triennial of Small Ceramics, Zagreb
1990 Diploma at 12th Biennial of Ceramic Art, Vallauris, France
1997 Joint winner of Handel House Gallery 'Summer Show', Devizes
1998 Bursary from Southern Arts Association for Research Fellowship at Bath Spa University College
2002 Bursary from The Craft Potters' Charitable Trust for book research
2008 Shortlisted for Sydney Myer International Ceramic Award, Shepparton, Australia
2010 Selected for the European Applied Arts Prize, Mons, Belgium
Slipcasting, Sasha Wardell (A&C Black) 1997/2007 (2nd Edition)
Porcelain and Bone China, Sasha Wardell (Crowood Press) 2004
Work included in following publications:
"Living Light' Ceramic Review, May/June 1988
China, Glass and Tableware (US) November 1988
La Revue de la Ceramique et du Verre (France) March/April 1989
A Dictionary of British Studio Potters, Pat Carter (Scholar Press) 1990
'Rencontre a Limoges' La Revue de la Ceramique et du Verre (France) July/August 1992
Ceramics and Print, Paul Scott (A&C Black) 1994
Porcelain, Caroline Whyman (Batsford) 1994
Contemporary Porcelain, Peter Lane (A&C Black) 1995 and 2003
Resists and Techniques, Peter Beard (A&C Black) 1995 and 2003
Ceramic Form: Design and Decoration (New Edition) ,Peter Lane (A&C Black) 1998
Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Pottery (4th Edition), Robert Fournier (A&C Black) 2000
'The Magic of Materials' Keramiek, April 2002
The Ceramic Surface, Matthias Ostermann 2002
Naked Clay, Jane Perryman (A&C Black) 2004
Craft Arts International, (Australia) 2006
Taiwan Ceramic Magazine ( Taiwan) 2008
Ceramic Design Course, Anthony Quinn ( Barrons, US and Quarto UK) 2008
Clay, Light. Water, Margaret O’Rorke ( A&C Black) 2009
Slip Decorating Techniques, John Matheson ( AC Black) 2010
Period Living Magazine, Jan 2011 issue
Los Angeles Art and Craft Museum, U.S.A.
Yale Centre for British Art Museum, New Haven, CT, U.S.A.
Chateau de Vascoeuil, Centre Regional d'Art, Normandy, France
City Museum and Art Gallery, Hanley, Stoke on Trent
Norwich Castle Museum Teapot Collection
Newport Art Gallery and Museum, Wales
Zagreb City Museum, Croatia
Kellinghusen Museum, Germany
National Ceramic Collection at the Adrien Dubouche Museum, Limoges, France
National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
Ministere d'Arts Plastiques, Brussels
1998 Ikebana foyer display commissioned by Takashimaya Store, Osaka, Japan
2001 'Feat of Clay' exhibition at Victoria and Albert Museum, London, commissioned by University of the West of England
2005 Sculptural piece for restaurant in P and O liner 'Arcadia' commissioned by Elstone Hayes Associates.