A NEW collection of ceramics is now on view online at Sladers Yard gallery at West Bay. The work by Mike Dodd, Akiko Hirai, Adela Power, Franny Owen and Paul Wearing, is being shown alongside Land Use, recent paintings by Alex Lowery.
The gallery is showing a selection of domestic ware by Mike Dodd, a foretaste of the delights of the planned solo show, which has had to be postponed because of the coronavirus crisis.
Like Richard Batterham, Mike Dodd went to Bryanston School and was taught by Donald Potter, an inspiring figure who had studied under Eric Gill and worked with Michael Cardew at Winchcombe.
Dodd went on to study medicine at Cambridge followed by a postgraduate course in ceramics at Hammersmith School of Art. His passionate interest has always been, he says, “to go back to the the origin, to the source. In practical terms this meant firing with wood, and as far as was expedient, to use local materials for the clay, and slips, rocks and wood ashes for the glazes.”
Akiko Hirai was born in Japan in March 1970. She took a degree in cognitive psychology in Japan before coming to England. She was inspired to take up ceramics by the Korean moon jars in the British Museum,. She studied ceramics at the University of Westminster and went on to graduate from Central St. Martins.
Now based in Stoke Newington, she makes practical ware using the Japanese tradition of allowing the clay to show how it wants to be fired itself. From the start she has been heralded as a unique talent. Her handmade tableware has a remarkable purity. She chooses very rough dark clay and often glazes it with white, which forms a veil between the rough forms underneath and the smooth calm of the exterior. She receives commissions from clients in England and world-wide.
Pictured: Domestic ware by Mike Dodd; silver birch vase by Akiko Hirai.