PROFILE - KATE DAWSON
For me working with clay is largely about personal process, but it is a pleasure to see others’ response because their observations often give the work another life which I could not have envisaged. For example I gave a small raku piece to a friend which was in the abstracted shape of a pod or seed. He felt that it had an inner life and contained a unique mystery. And so his imagination prolongs and extends its life.
The story is, whilst doing a ‘proper job’ I spent years exploring many mediums, (painting, silversmithing, drawing, Chinese brush painting, textiles and more), eventually stumbling into ceramics in 2002. Having acquired City and Guilds in 3d Design and Ceramics, I opted thereafter to self teach, supplemented with courses and workshops in specific techniques, and to give myself full time to creating.
To begin with I was interested only in form and revelled in the sensuality of the clay. Once engaged with raku, I began to work with colour, albeit with a limited palette. The fascination is in the unexpected and makes the joy of achieving the desired effect even more satisfying. The forms are inspired by the natural world and evolve in the making. Everything is hand built. I like the slow pace of it and the way sometimes the clay has its own ideas. All over the world, from West Africa to the pueblos of Mexico, hand building is still the main technique for making pots. Each pot is individual and bears the mark of the artist. Such work has an immediacy, intimacy
and warmth. I hope I get somewhere near such with my work. There is constant development in shapes, ideas and inspiration, and hand building means each piece has its own personality. Each time I find a fresh relationship with the clay. Now no longer working in Raku I have been exploring other ways to decorate the surfaces of my pieces.
I draw inspiration from the border country in which I live.
I draw strength from the borders landscape in all its moods. I take part in the Hereford Open Studios event each year