Showcases: Sculpture

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.

Samvado

Samvado

After a psychology degree of too many words, hands demanded outlet so began with the materials freely available, wood and stone. Wandering the woods and fields soon led to a feel for local nature, craggy ground beneath my feet and uplifted among the vertical world of trees. Trees are made by light, mostly of air and rain, sounds obvious but there’s little mineral, the roots don’t suck out a huge hole under a tree. This growing story is left as a tideline in the grain. It is how the ocean of life has written itself there in the rings, one more each year, in slow time, in one place, abiding. Trees are radial beings, temples of light.

Stone is in cosmic time, the cooling remnant of stardust which formed a crust to stand atop the molten core. In Cornwall sea eaten cliffs show these cooling contortions, in the unusual Serpentine of the Lizard, and the coloured Granites indicating where tin and copper minerals were likely. Tin and copper make Bronze for a new age of work. Metal was poured white hot to some moulded idea, sword plough or mirror.

The natural worlds of wood and stone are materials which tell their own stories of growth and decay, of continual change, caught in the snapshot of a piece of work. From raw material to finished piece the language is of form and texture, in rough and smooth, intricacy and simplicity. Sometimes the overtness of the material means we forget to see it with fresh eyes. Stone is not wall, wood is not floor, that is just the familiar furniture of our primitive world, our primal mind. Recently discovered, a 3000 year old Grecian Bronze mask still has a look of surprise. When familiar stops, mental furniture revealed, we look anew. The intent of art is always present.