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71 Upper Queen Street, Newton

Christine Thacker

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To view exhibition works click on the following:

Knowing me, Knowing you, 1 - 25 March 2015

Artist Statement:

'A formative experience for me was visiting England and working in the 1970s at the Cambridgeshire Pottery, which specialised in garden pots. Electric firing and earthenware techniques became my foundation knowledge of the pottery craft. I also saw museum collections of European medieval pottery and identify this as informing all my work since in various ways.

In a wide-ranging catalogue of work I have always used a restricted range of materials and simple construction methods. I have just two types of clay: a grogged terracotta and a white earthenware to which I add fine sand. Most of the work is coil-built, then covered with quite thick layers of white engobe which is sanded back to achieve a fine painting surface. I use a very limited range of transparent glazes from shiny through to matt clear.

I have experimented a lot with colour pigments using them in combination with oxides and painting them underneath and on top of engobes and underneath and on top of glazes. At one stage I painted with pigment powders directly onto damp engobes mixing the colours on the wares. Every potter working in earthenware is probably at heart a painter. The bonus with painting on pottery is we are able to seal our painted imagery in an enlivening coating of glass so it can shine like a stone under water.

I have made a variety of objects in clay. After 30 years of exploring the shapes of nearly everything I was ready to engage with that iconic pottery form: the jug. We don't need pottery jugs as functional items in our lives anymore because they have been usurped by glass, plastic and even cardboard products but we do need the symbolic comfort a jug can provide.

I believe everything you make contains everything you have ever made, every aesthetic you have embraced and all you have rejected, all that you have learned and all you have forgotten. I won a prize for a piece of work once and while being handed the cheque I was asked how long it had taken me to make the work. I said "about a day" and quickly added "and my entire life", in case the prize-sponsor thought the value of my effort and the size of the cheque were not equal. Each piece of work contains all that you are at the time of its making.'

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