FOR decades, the Birkenhead-born ceramicist Adela Powell has lived and worked close to the Devon-Cornwall border, developing techniques and ideas that draw strongly on her knowledge of the natural world and natural sciences.
A collection of her recent work is on show, initially online, but from 14th April, hopefully open to the public, at Sladers Yard, the arts centre and cafe at West Bay.
The artist says: “I work intuitively. I have ideas and I play with clay. The results of this interaction are sometimes pleasing and unexpected, leading me to develop new forms. The process then becomes more challenging as I deal with the aesthetic and technical considerations required to resolve each piece. My work is mainly hand built in stoneware, using various slips and glazes, fired to 1240°C in an electric kiln.”
Adela Powell originally read sciences at Liverpool University before attending Plymouth College of Art and Design as a mature student (1976-1978) while bringing up a young family.
Having studied natural sciences and made a habit of observing the natural world, including the effects of nature on manmade items that wash up on our beaches and rivers, her ceramics examine rust and decay, strong forms with frangible surfaces, shell forms with smoothest sensuous insides and robust rough exteriors.
Her glazes are dripped and crackled, layered deep, with areas of shiny rich colour abutting chalky semi-transparent over-glazes. .
This major exhibition, on show alongside prints and etchings by David Inshaw, runs to 8th May.
Pictured: Standing shell form; Seed bottle; and Boat.