John Davenport Ceramics
After a working life spent predominantly in the financial services industry, in retirement I have been free to take a new direction. I have exhibited at Potfest in the Pens, Penrith, Cumbria for the last five years and plan to be there again in August 2013. In fact, Potfest has become an annual milestone in the development of my ceramics. It is my main opportunity to hear the response of visitors who know their ceramics, so I find I spend August mulling over the experience and finding a new path for the year ahead. This makes it sound very organised and scientific, but really it is more like hibernating and hoping that when you wake up your brain will have sorted something out that feels worth exploring.
This year several themes from previous years seem to be coming together and it began on a walk along the River Kent between Bowston and Staveley. I photographed the weathered gateposts which each offered a wonderful range of colours and textures.
The planter on the right is the first to features one of these weathered stone effects. I chose the colours to match the stems and petals of Ceropegia woodii, which I hope will enjoy twining itself around my vaguely Chinese pyramid.
Heads, too have re-emerged, though now some of them are imprisoned. I don’t know where this has come from, but I find the contrast between the organic and angled forms create an interesting tension in the work.
The Utah desert designs seem to work well with both the weathered stone glaze and the succulent.
Owls have also evolved - the most recent arrivals have moved off the walls to perch on any available surface.
Others use my usual glaze over white porcelain slip with traditional stoneware oxides. They seem to have evolved into rather ritualistic figures, with echoes of the Utah designs.