Ceramic by Kate-Lyons Miller
Earthfast - Large Bowl
'When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.' - John Muir
Earthfast : A study of a landscape with ceramics.
The landscape I’m concerned with is Dartmoor, granite is the source material. From my home I look daily at the upturned bowl shape of Rippon Tor, simple, clear but changing with light and weather. It is the basic form for many of these pieces. The landscape is bold, harsh and pared back, high, windswept and wild; or quiet, calm and sheltered in the deep valleys. A communication of this is the intention of the work.
Using material from the land both holds and disperses my ideas; in a simple bowl or jar shape.
Over millennia granite has washed off the Dartmoor batholith into the Sticklepath Fault, forming the Bovey Basin ball clays by a process of attrition and sedimentation. I use this clay as the main body, or carrier, for most of this work. It is fine and porcellanous, or rough and friable, depending on the layer it has been dug from in the quarry. I also use clays from deposits by streams and in depressions in the granite, variously stained by iron and containing particles of rocks and organic matter, washed down from the overburden of soil and peat. I gather raw materials carefully, taking only a little, avoiding deposits which may contain eggs or larvae, just as one picks wild flowers or berries, leaving a plant to be food and to seed, with apologies, acknowledging the life of the land, carrying on about its business.
Kate has returned to ceramics, her first interest at Art School, after a career as a Scenic Artist, working with theatre and opera companies around Britain. She has consolidated this with a BA Hons in Ceramics at Plymouth College of Art, graduating in 2016, and has just completed an MA in Ceramic Design at BathSpa University. Kate’s studio is on Dartmoor, near Widecombe in the Moor, where she makes and runs classes and workshops, she also teaches in schools and colleges.
From the series of work, 'Earthfast', ceramics with inclusions and additions of clays and minerals from Dartmoor.
Large Bowl with Ash Glaze, Incorporating Haematite from Kelly Mine in the Teign valley