Featured Maker - April 2017
Each month we will be turning the spotlight on one of our regular makers, to give you an insight into their work, and to direct you to more information about them.
Chris Hawkins and Chloe Harford — Ceramics
Chris Hawkins and Chloe Harford work together in a workshop in Cornwall creating raku fired ceramics using kilns that they manufacture to their own design
Chris has been producing ceramics for over forty years. He studied at Plymouth College of Art before gaining an apprenticeship to train as a production thrower. He spent a number of years producing tableware which gave him a precise and consistent way of working. This attention to detail and discipline shows in his work today. He worked for more than twenty years as a part-time lecturer and ceramics and glass technician at Plymouth College of Art alongside making his own work.
Chloe was a single parent and once her youngest started school she attended Plymouth College of Art to do Design Crafts as a jeweller. Whilst there she met Chris and once her course had finished she and Chris opened a small gallery selling crafts. However Chloe found that she preferred to be making and Chris then invited her to work with him in his workshop.
Chloe started by producing some raku fired jewellery and then raku animal sculptures. Chloe models the original sculpture and then they are slip cast and assembled by hand. This allows for alterations and additions to make them more individual. Some pieces are decorated with coloured slips stains. Numerous new animals have been added to the range and experiments with various raku techniques result in the work she is producing today. Chloe has become known for her bright coloured puffins and colonies of seals.
Chris is well known for the vibrant iridescent colours and patterns of his copper matt finish in his work. He uses the fuming process to enhance and create surface texture by pushing the raku to its limits loosening the precise form with the unpredictability of the raku process. In 2016 Chris's work was used in the BBC series 'The Great Pottery Throwdown' and he has been featured in a new book 'New Age of Ceramics' by Hannah Stouffer.
Chris and Chloe's workshop is set in six acres of woodland which is an artist's paradise having been left largely untouched with water meadows and ponds creating a haven for wildlife. It is one of the inspirations for their creativity. The land runs along the banks of the river Tamar, a steep sided valley which serves as a border between the counties of Devon and Cornwall. The Tamar Valley has a long mining history and is well known for its industrial heritage. Their workshop sits within 100m of a deep adit for 'Ding Dong' mine that was once mined for the same minerals that Chris uses in his glazes today.
Chris and Chloe sell to galleries throughout the UK and abroad and will be exhibiting their work at the next Craft In Focus event being held at RHS Garden Wisley from 27 April – 1 May 2017.
For full details of our events see our calendar to the left of the page.