Abbie Gardiner, working in Ceramics

I hand-build sculptural functional objects using black or speckled stoneware clay that is textured with grog or a smoother porcelain clay. I use a variety of techniques to build my basic shapes, working with pinch pots, casting from plaster molds and cutting templates from soft slabs, before joining them together and manipulating the overall form as a whole. I then spend most of my building time trimming, shaping and fettling each piece to achieve strong, smooth, fluid forms. I leave my surfaces with faint marks from the making process and use underglazes to create soft, flat and slightly transparent colour blocks. Sometimes I apply layers of glaze to develop more experimental texture and colour. I am very interested in the ideas of nurture, connection and belonging. In particular, I like to explore the relationships we make with objects as a way of understanding better how we nurture ourselves, connect with others and experience a sense of belonging in our lives. Through my work I am seeking to instigate and develop a connection between the object and it’s audience. I create pieces that are functional and can be used in the everyday routines of life, but that I hope are also sculptural, animated and tactile. The flat colour highlights the form and encourages the audience to engage in an immediate response on a more intuitive and emotional level. The curved sides feel rotund and inviting. The arched foot rings enable the fingers to be tucked under and into the piece. The handles that are sometimes too small to be grasped means that the shape has to be held in the hand. They have a reassuring solidity and weight to them. They are simple and naïve in their form because I am keen for them to feel recognisable, familiar and sincere. The use of a visual language that is accessible, dependable and inclusive, and simplifies the codes around communication and connection is important to me. I want my work to bring pleasure, but more importantly, comfort and companionship to those who use them. Visitors are always welcome to my studio shed to take a look at my work, ask questions and have a chat. Please contact me to arrange a suitable date and time.

07766 446025


Gallery of work, examples