My work is driven by an obsession with clay and its versatility. I make ceramic forms and vessels which are hand built and Raku-fired.
'I became addicted to Raku because of the direct involvement with each stage of the process. The pots absorb and often reflect the intense drama of the firing'.
These evolve through a sustained exploration of form and process. Influences are diverse and come from a fusion of visual elements seen in the natural and built environments.
The effects of weathering, erosion and decay provide a constant source of reference. Small groups of related forms are hand built simultaneously. The slow and contemplative pace of coiling allows for considered developments and refinements to be made. Each stage of construction enables intuitive and selective marks and textures to occur. Glazing and firing methods are adapted to enhance the form and surface of each piece.
This combination of the making, glazing and firing methods result in one-off pieces which are completely unique.
Babylon Gallery : Makers in Clay - Stephen Murfitt
September 24, 2019 to October 13, 2019
Yorkshire Museum Gardens : York Ceramics Fair 2019
November 23, 2019 to November 24, 2019
In recent years I have concentrated on developing the vessel or pot form. The possibilities for containing and revealing space are endless. Open forms provide an infinite range of shape for experimentation with surface and texture. Closed forms contain that mysterious inner space, not always visible.
Work available at:
Bils & Rye, Kirkbymoorside, N. Yorkshire
Courcoux Contemporary, online
Primavera Gallery, Cambridge
Pyramid Gallery, York
Gavagan Art in Settle, North Yorkshire
The clay used is a mixture of Earthstone handbuilding body and Royale grogged porcelain. The glazes have evolved over many years and are based on Borax and alkaline frits, combined with china clay, ball clay and various colouring oxides, depending on the surface effects required.
The work is bisque fired to C1020⁰ and then Raku fired with the associated reduction process. The larger forms begin with a thrown base, which is then coiled onto. Smaller forms are thrown and altered and sometimes press moulded.
See a recent (2018) film made by Ceramic Review where Stephen gives a Master Class
Born in Cambridgeshire and educated at the Cambridge School of Art, West Surrey College of Art & Design (Farnham) and Middlesex Polytechnic (Hornsey College). After College, I continued to develop my own work, combined with teaching Art & Design at various schools and colleges.
In 1994, having been the sculpture and ceramics tutor at Marlborough College for ten years, I returned to my native fens to establish a studio and workshop in Wicken, (now at Ramsey Heights, still in the Cambridgeshire fens).
My work can be seen in many corporate, private and public collections, at home and abroad.
Author of ‘The Glaze Book’ published by Thames and Hudson.
Work has been widely exhibited, most recently at:
2001 - The Hart Gallery, London (solo)
2001 - ‘Abstract Works’, Artmonsky Arts, London (group)
2001 - The Hart Gallery at Phillips Auctioneers, London (group)
2001 - Conservatory Gallery, Cambridge (3 person)
2001 - ‘Ouverture’, Galerie Place Neuve, France (group)
2001 - ‘Art é Nîm’, Contemporary Art Fair, Nîmes, France (group)
2002 - ‘Pots’, Babylon Gallery, Ely (3 person)
2003 - ‘Form and Surface, Pelican Gallery, Perse School, Cambridge (2 person)
2003 - ‘Untamed’, Conservatory Gallery, Cambridge (3 person)
2006 - ‘Scratch the Surface’, Atticus Arts, Bath (group)
2006 - View Gallery, Thames Ditton (2 person)
2007 - Bettles Gallery, Ringwood (2 person)
2007 - ‘Autumn Exhibition’, Angela Mellor Gallery, Ely (group)
2009 - The Old Fire Engine House, Ely (2 person)
2010 - Haddenham Galleries, Cambs., Anglian Potters selected members (group)
2010 - ‘Winter Exhibition’, The Gallery Upstairs, Henley-in-Arden (group)
2011 - May : the Wyle Valley Art trail in Wiltshire, (feature exhibition)
2011 - May : Selected Anglian Potters at the Dolby Gallery, Oundle.
2011 - July (first 4 weekends) The Cambridge Open Studios.
2011 -November through to January, Selected Anglian Potters, Winter Exhibition at the Appleyard Gallery, Holt in Norfolk.
2012 - ‘Kings’ Connections’ at Kings College Cambridge
2012 - Pyramid Gallery, York (solo)
2012 - The Old Fire Engine House, Ely, (2 person)
2012 - The Contemporary Ceramics Centre, London, (group).
2013 - Babylon Gallery, Ely, (Craft & Design Show)
2013 - Courcoux & Courcoux, Stockbridge, (Group Show)
2013 - Pyramid Gallery, York, (Winter Show)
2014 - Spring Exhibition at Pyramid Gallery, York. (solo)
2014 - The Old Fire Engine House, Ely. (2 person)
2014 - Courcoux & Courcoux, Stockbridge, (mixed show)
2015 - ‘Form & Vision’ The Espacio Gallery, London.
2015 - ‘Visual Connections’ Clare Hall Art Gallery, Cambridge.
2015 - ‘Kaleidoscope’ The Centre for Contemporary Ceramics, London.
2015 - ‘Innovations in Ceramic Art’ Cambridge.
2016, ‘Visual Connections 2’, The Old Fire Engine House, Ely, Cambs.
2016 ‘Innovations in Ceramic Art’, The Guildhall, Cambridge.
2017 ‘Triple Vision’, The Wheelhouse Gallery, Oakham School, Rutland.
2017, ‘Collectors’ Rooms’ Gavagan Art, Settle, Yorkshire.
2018 'Innovations in Ceramic Art' The Guildhall, Cambridge.
2018 'Visual Connections' The Pyramid Gallery, York.
2018 'Lightplay' 3 person show, Babylon Gallery, Ely.
2018 'York Ceramics Fair', The Hospitium, Museum Gardens, York.
2018 Currently 'Featured maker' at the Contemporary Ceramics Centre, London (until end of December)