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Ann Bates – Dame Catherine Arts Summer Exhibition

Ann Bates

I have been working with clay for over 25 years hand building vessels from a variety
of stoneware and coloured porcelain clays.
Living and working in Matlock, Derbyshire I find the beautiful Lumsdale valley a
source of inspiration and wonder throughout the year. From the underground
geological formations that shape the ground to the trees with their exposed roots and
canopies, all are available for study and can be evidenced, often in a subtle way,
through the building method, colour of material and shape of my vessel forms.
It was during my time at the University of Derby that I began to use colour in clay.
Varying percentages of oxides or carbonates are added to porcelain and this
coloured material is layered between several different stoneware clays.
The resulting material is rolled thinly, usually between 2 and 4mm, before strips are
taken to build the vessel, smoothing the internal surface but leaving the exterior in
layers to give a sculptural quality, a suggestion of landscape.
The work is slow and painstaking, but rewarding; each piece being unique due to the
distribution of clay and colours during rolling and forming. When built the vessels are
dried slowly before undergoing at least two kiln firings.
This process has enabled me to produce unique landscape inspired surfaces and
has become a mainstay of my method of making.

Ann Bates
www.annbates.co.uk
Twitter: @annbates15

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