Often you find out a lot about a creative by their ‘about’ or ‘bio’ page, I like to hear what they have to say and what their inspirations are, whether it be as a maker or a designer. Through all these years finding and sourcing inspiration for the site I have come across many common traits that connect these individuals together in certain ways. One such idea is the mixture of functionality and aesthetic beauty. Obviously, in the craft sector the handmade nature of the work really does mean that the imperfections stick out more, where as something industrial has a conformity, maybe even lacking character at times. But you do see a lot of craftsmen idolise the idea of simplicity and functionality, probably harking back to traditional skills before factories and mass production. Saying that, the works still can’t help but have that ‘decorative’ element as it’s really in the root of self-expression.
One such artist that I came across over the weekend was Justine Allison, who is based in rural Wales. Interestingly, Justine grew up in London and she says her work reflected that at the time. Drawing inspiration from city life, though the buildings, streets, windows, sounds, and busy lifestyle. As you can imagine, living in Wales is the polar opposite in terms of environment, so she’s going to discover different feelings and thoughts, maybe even more of a connection with nature due to the surroundings. These semi-functional porcelain works that she creates have a real sense of simplicity about them, representing the clay in a pure way, sometimes this involves pattern and texture, also using a mixture of glazes. One thing I noticed, and is something that’s a common theme throughout all beautiful porcelain (Taizo Kuroda comes to mind), is the effect that light has on these thin forms. It’s almost as if it starts to create an atmosphere, particularly under natural lighting as you have the light spraying quite erratically.
Anyway, I picked up a nice selection of her works for you to enjoy, and a few shots of her making in the workshop photographed by Toril Brancher for an exhibit publication. I thought they gave some fantastic context to the work and will give you an idea of the ‘hands on’ approach. Enjoy.