I am a ceramicist based in the UK, having created my own personal style with a career spanning 30 years, my work portrays curvy figures influenced by Greek antiquity and the colours of the impressionists. I have been working with clay since specialising in ceramics at Camberwell College of Art and Crafts. I was captured by the immediate responsiveness of clay and its fleshy quality as it pushed back on my hands. There I was exposed to and mentored by prominent potters such as Colin Pearson and Janice Tchalenko.
In 1983 I established a studio in South London at Sumner Road Workshops with Philip Vian which soon grew to be a collective of makers. I later received Crafts Council recognition which helped fund and equip the studio. During my time at Sumner Road Workshops, I made my first appearances at Direct Design Show London, Chelsea Crafts Fair and Harrogate Trade Fair.
1987. In a desire for more space I moved to Peterborough and built a studio in my garden. I was then chosen by Eastern Arts for the ‘First Impressions’ promotion, a joint venture with Anglia Television and the National Trust to promote craftspeople in eastern England. This led to the ‘Looking East’ travelling exhibition, which started in Norwich before moving to the Handwerkshammer gallery in Koblenz Germany.
Now based in Rugby I work independently from my home studio and work closely with galleries across the UK. During this period, my work developed and I became a regular face at Chelsea Craft Fair and Harrogate Trade Fair. I also featured at the British Crafts Show at the Nancy Poole Studio in Toronto. In 1990 I had the privilege of exhibiting my work at the Liberty's Tea Time exhibition in London. I also exhibited at The Cilynn Vivian Art Gallery and Museum in Wales as well as took part in the exchange exhibition between Peterborough and Bourges, France in collaboration with Peterborough Museum.
In 1992 I moved to a larger studio in Thorney and continued to supply galleries and show at the Harrogate and Chelsea trade fairs. I exhibited Beaux in Bath with watercolourist Sir Hugh Casson and showed my work at Top Drawer in London. Whilst I was at Thorney my work featured at the Aberystwth Arts Centre showcase exhibition. I also had a joint exhibition with the painter Brian Lewis at the Bircham Gallery in Norfolk.
In 1997 I relocated to the USA with my husband who was working in New Jersey. Whilst there I attended the Demarest School of Art and did extensive life drawing and printmaking courses. I also attended the New York Institute of Fashion and Technology on a silk painting course.
2002 My family moved back to the UK and whilst raising a young family I started to make off one off pieces. I bought a shed and worked in my garden whilst I applied for Arts Council Funding to help me convert my garage into a fully functioning studio. In 2006 I went to Japan and took part in the British Crafts event run by UK Trade and Investment. I also enrolled onto a Post grad course in Art Practice at Lincoln and started to exhibit in various exhibitions such as ‘Allure’ at The Rufford Craft Centre. In the summer I featured at the Catmose Gallery in Oakham and had a joint exhibition with Anita Klein at the Bircham Gallery. Later that year I exhibited at ’Entice’ which was curated by the Design Factory at the Leicester City Art Gallery.
In 2007 I returned to the craft and trade fair circuit and exhibited my work alongside some of the UK’s most talented makers at leading craft shows such as Lustre Nottingham, Harrogate Trade Fair, Great Northern Contemporary Craft Show Manchester and Ceramic Art London. Exhibitions included ‘Connect 07’ at The Collection and Usher Gallery in Lincoln. I had the pleasure of featuring in Emmanuel Cooper’s Contemporary ceramics book that covers all areas of ceramic practice that has been revitalised as a result—the creative possibilities that artists, lured by the plastic and tactile qualities of clay, have brought with them into ceramics have influenced ceramists of all backgrounds.
In recent years I have continued to exhibit at shows such as Ceramic Art London, Lustre and the Harrogate Trade Fair. I also exhibited at the Aberystwyth Showcase, which lead to other successful exhibitions such as Synchronise at the National Centre for Craft and Design. In 2014 I participated in a joint exhibition with painter Nickki McKay at The Longacre Studio, Bingham. This was followed by ‘The fragile form’ at the Cedar Farm Gallery and my first appearance at the Stamford Potters Market. I also exhibited at Charnwood Pottery Market in Loughborough.
In 2017 I exhibited at Bovey Tracey Craft Fair in Devon and more recently at Southwell Pottery Market in Nottinghamshire/
In the last two years I have relocated to Hillmorton in Rugby and continue to produce work from my new studio and have work on display at the Fosse Gallery in Dunchurch. More of my work can be seen at the Elwood Station Gallery in Ross-on-Wye, Marine House at Beer in Devon plus Leeds City Craft and Design Centre. See my website for more stockists.
For more contact information please visit my website karenatherley.com