I think that every creative at some point has a slowdown in their productivity. I often find that instead of trying to move out of my comfort zone I get in to the groove of things and this later becomes a little too repetitive for me. It’s usually a pattern that repeats on a yearly basis. At the start of this year I hit a similar phase when making ceramics, focusing solely on the shapes and colours instead of experimenting and pursuing new ideas. That’s why I was really happy to see these works by sculptor James Oughtibridge, as they have inspired me step outside this box once again and brave the rough seas, so to speak.
James Outbridge lives and works in Holmfirth, Yorkshire and hand builds these using a slab method of construction. He starts small and works upwards to create very monolithic-like forms. As he builds he looks to make a certain amount of movement in the piece, usually accentuating the curves or making the lines very prominent in the sides of the body. He has a very good eye for what works and what doesn’t, which has obviously come through years of experience as a maker and artist.
Some of his new works, those that can be seen here, intrigue me a lot as they take on the functional shape of a vase but they also bend and distort in form which makes them every intriguing on the eye. Another interest are the textures and glazes that he uses, tending to be attracted towards matte colours and scraping the clay body, which is partly down to the tools that he uses, but at the same time this is drawing your eye to the patterns on the surface. Overall a fantastic collection of work that I recommend you explore on the link below. I hope you will be inspired too.