My work is involved with an exploration of form and process. Influences are diverse and come from the natural and built environments.
Usually groups of 4-6 forms are worked on simultaneously, often beginning with a thrown base and using a range of hand building methods, with evolving refinements and modifications.
After a bisque firing in an electric kiln, each piece is put through the extremely testing atmosphere of Raku firing followed by an intense period of post-firing reduction. The glazed, lustred and crackled surfaces provide a rich contrast with the unglazed, smoked and blackened areas of the vessels and forms.
With each firing, a new focus for further investigation and experimentation will be indicated.
Old Fire Engine House, The : Stephen Murfitt - ceramics in Ely
September 05, 2014 to September 28, 2014
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:
Atticus Gallery, Bath.
Courcoux & Courcoux, Stockbridge
View Gallery, Thames Ditton, Surrey.
The Old Fire Engine House, Ely, Cambs.
International Art Consultants Ltd, London.
The Pyramid Gallery, York.
Dolby Gallery, Oundle.
The Centre for Contemporary Ceramics, 63, Great Russell St., London
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.
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 the current workshop and studio at Wicken in Cambridgeshire.
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)