Showcases: Ceramics

Carole Venables

Carole Venables

Carole trained at Cardiff College of Art and Warwick University.

After a career as a theatre technician, followed by 20 years of teaching art and design, Carole finally made the longed for move to Cornwall in 2003. Living near the sea and the Cornish coast provide endless inspiration and the fascination with shells, corals, marine life, rocks, pebbles, barnacles and seaweeds, is evident in all her work.

The work is not easily categorised, falling between pottery and sculpture and most of the pieces have no function. The Porcelain clay allows delicacy, detail, fine texture and translucency and the addition of Flax fibres gives strength and resilience. Each piece is unique and made using simple hand building techniques such as pinch pots or slabs to form the clay. The components parts are then assembled and textured using improvised tools such as sharpened sticks, darning needles, nails and wire. When the piece is leather hard, further features are added using hand formed shapes and then clay slip for more texture.

When air dry, the work is first fired, then occasionally oxides or coloured slips are added and a white or clear glaze used to enhance textures and provide contrast, before a final firing to 1260c which also serves to make the work waterproof even if unglazed.

Carole’s training was as a sculptor and a teacher. She is largely self- taught as a ceramicist and enjoys experimenting and discovering new ways of working in an endlessly fascinating and forgiving medium.