Meet the first grantees of the Making Waves Ceramics Trust
Artist Kate Ive works from her studio at the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, having graduated in 2008 from Edinburgh College of Art with a degree in Sculpture. Through her research-based practice, Kate creates her intricate sculptural work by hand, focusing on the technical processes used.
Maintaining a diverse practice, Kate makes work for exhibitions, residencies and public art commissions. Recent commissions include artwork for the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh and for Gloucester City Council. She has artwork in recognised public and private collections including the British Museum (London), NHS, Royal Mint Museum (Wales), the National Bank of Slovakia, University Museum of Bergen (Norway) and the Museo della Carta e Filigrana (Fabriano, Italy).
With a particular interest in our human evolution and impact on the planet, Kate takes a granular approach to research. She explores data that highlights our contribution to the climate crisis and ecological damage. Using specific examples, she makes this information relatable and personal.
The Making Waves Ceramics Trust grant comes at a pivotal time for Kate as she embarks on an ambitious new project enabling a significant developmental step in her practice. This autumn she will undertake a 3-month research and development residency at the European Ceramic Workcentre (EKWC) in the Netherlands. This intensive work period will enable her to push her practice into new territory working with specific environmental datasets, translating them into sculptural ceramic recordings. Kate will develop a new methodology for translating selected ocean datasets, which explore our anthropogenic impact, into readable handmade pieces realised in ceramic utilising EKWC’s expert technical guidance.
This period of research and development, supported by the Making Waves Ceramics Trust, will enable Kate to investigate new ways of working, establishing exploratory studio processes whilst creating an original body of contemporary ceramic sculptures ready for exhibition.
The Making Waves Ceramics Trust grant will allow Kate to embrace developmental ideas research and experimental specialist skills to create new work at EKWC. This pioneering ceramic exploration, both conceptually and technically, along with hands-on production will support Kate beyond her residency as she re-envisions her approach and significantly progresses her practice.
I’m very fortunate to be able to work within different areas of ceramics; as well as working as the ceramics tutor at UCA in Farnham, consulting on the Great Pottery Throwdown and making pottery for use on TV and within Films, I also make and sell my own work.
My practice takes inspiration from where I first encountered pottery, which was during my studies in Japan in 2008 and from Stoke on Trent, the centre of ceramics in the UK since the industrial revolution, where I completed my education in ceramics in 2019. I am excited to find ways to fuse Japanese aesthetics with industrial elements, while also allowing the magical qualities of the clay, glazes and firing processes I use to shine through.
Teaching at UCA for the last year, I have been fascinated to learn more about the digital landscape and how it can be applied to ceramics. As a technophile, I already have a plastic 3D printer that I have used in my own practice, as well as a virtual reality set up that enables me to sculpt objects in the air which I can manipulate and distort with simple gestures.
Whilst learning more about the digital possibilities of UCA’s ceramic 3D printers, I’ve also been researching into Farnham’s own rich history of making ceramics, the historical use of local clay deposits by local potteries as well as the geology of the surrounding area.
The Making Waves grant will enable me to purchase a ceramic 3D printer that can be used with locally dug clay to create objects inspired by Farnham’s past. I want to celebrate this abundant local material under our feet, its historical use by the people of Farnham and showcase how cutting-edge futuristic technology can help reimagine objects from the past, changing our perception and experience of them in the present.
PAUL'S PROGRESS SO FAR
The 3D printer has arrived - the initial test prints and calibration went very well! I spent some time designing an adapter for my pug mill to help me easily load the 3D printer with clay, which was printed in plastic using my PLA printer. The adapter means the printer's hopper can be filled with freshly processed clay, without introducing any air bubbles, straight from the pug mill.
I've been testing several different scanning apps for the iPhone and I was able to capture a low resolution scan of one of my pots. After preparing the model on the PC, I sent it to the clay printer, where it was successfully printed. I want to start testing more challenging shapes, as well as increasing the resolution and detail of the scans.
I'm in talks with Winchester museum about getting access to their collection of Surrey white ware pieces, as well as the Craft Study Centre at UCA in Farnham. I hope to use their pieces with my scanning app to create digital models of pottery that was made locally for a period in the medieval ages. My intention is to then recreate and reinterpret these pieces - but instead of making them by hand, I want to use cutting edge ceramics technology to 3D print them using the same locally dug clay from which they were originally made.
I have also been sent some fascinating shards of Surrey white ware that were found on the Thames foreshore. I'm obsessed with the finger marks showing how the pieces were thrown, the coarseness of the clay, as well as the depth of colour and speckling still visible in the green glaze. I will be sending a few of these pieces off for chemical analysis with the aim of closely recreating the glaze.