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John Davenport Ceramics

As in previous years, Potfest in the Pens, Penrith, Cumbria will be my main exhibition, so I am hoping to have some interesting pots ready for my for my seventh consecutive show. 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. In 2013 I felt to have woken up rather slowly, but things have now moved up a gear so fingers crossed.

As well as Potfest, I have joined the Green Door Studio Artsists in Kendal and plan to exhibit with them during the year. Another new venue will be The Lake Artists Summer Exhibition in July/August. Please check out the details by clicking on ‘Future Events’ below.

The piece on the right is a shape I have used in several recent pots. The original inspiration came from a visit to the British Museum, whose Chinese room displays a series of ancient bronze handbells which offered a range of ideas well suited to translation into ceramics.

It seems to work particularly well when associated with the winter stems of hazel contorta.

The head design (below right) uses the same handbell idea, which demonstrates the versatility of the basic design idea.

The sculpture on the left marks an exploration of flat planes of contrasting textures and glaze effects in an almost random structure. I enjoy the contrast between this structure and the more representational nature of the old Welsh mineshaft shown below.

Planters, of course, continue to evolve, maybe this year featuring some larger plants, rather than my usual succulents.

Which still leaves time for experiments with glazes and oxide colours. In my mind they are always going to be perfect. They never are, quite, but there is still enough to persuade you to try another batch.