It’s amazing to see such style and simplicity in makers situated on our own turf, unfortunately it’s not something that we come across here on a regular basis, but these works made by Manchester based Jill Shaddock are very eye pleasing indeed.
I originally came across her works on the Snug website, a shop for contemporary craft in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, and the mixture of porcelain ware really blew me away. I’m not usually one that’s attracted to a mass of colour, particularly when it comes down to functional ware, but I think Jill has hit just the right spot with her palette which mainly mixes blues with white, also a dash of black here and there. Jill works at her studio in Manchester where she creates the pieces from formers that are turned on a lathe, using a method called slipcasting. She uses liquid clay that’s coloured with a combination of stains, pouring the clay into the mould and leaving it to form a skin within the mould. This process is long and can sometimes mean that she has to have fifteen moulds on the go at once. A nice finishing touch I found was that on some of the pieces Jill records how long each different coloured layer of clay has taken to form, she then etches this information into the surface of the ceramic for the user to see.
As you can imagine she seems to take quite a lot of inspiration from the Japanese culture with her clean and minimal style, hence the above image, what’s impressive in my opinion is the boundary between a sculptural piece and a functional piece. It’s almost like she gets it right on every occasion, there’s not one piece of hers that I’ve seen that wouldn’t sit well either on a shelf or in a kitchen being used, quite a hard balance to achieve. I hope you enjoy what you see below and you’ll visit her website to have a quick browse at her other works, also watch out for her pieces in various shops and galleries around the UK.