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Libby Ballard : New Ceramic Forms

This exhibition represents a body of work that was inspired, developed and produced during my 6 Week Residency at Elizabeth College.

Having been born and brought up on the Isle of Wight the coastal landscape has always been the main inspiration to my work. Even when living away from the sea my work has an organic feel that relates to the forms and colours that surrounded me as I grew up.


I graduated in 2013 from Brighton University with a BA in 3D Materials Practice WMCP (Wood, Metal, Ceramics and Plastics). It was there that I really found my passion for ceramics and knew it was what I wanted to pursue after University. Since graduating I have spent the last year   working in London as a Pottery Technician and Tutor. I have recently moved into a new studio where I continue to develop my ideas. I show my work at various craft fairs and exhibitions.


I was so excited to have the opportunity during the residency to fully immerse myself in my work and to develop my practice. It was good to have a well-equipped studio with so much space to explore my ideas. Being by the sea again and especially in Guernsey, has been so inspiring and it has been amazing to see what the Guernsey landscape had to  offer.

I use Photography as the starting point for developing new forms and textures. Working with the photographs in front of me I try to translate the results of my research into the different forms and glazes I create, which are demonstrated in the Glazed Pots and Vases.

My Rock Pots are inspired by the lovely rock pools of Guernsey and the excitement you get from having a peek inside. I love the different   colour’s and patterns you get from each rock pool you venture to. Crystalline glazes are used to get the distinctive pearly pattern that is unique to each pot. I wanted to create a sense of surprise from these pieces as you would get from exploring the rock pools of Guernsey.


The towering cliffs from the view at Icart Point inspired the Cliff series. They seemed so powerful on a still, sunny day. I found the Guernsey granite interesting with the textures and colours transformed by the sea spray. To translate this in my work I choose to use a mixture of glazes dripped freely to overlap and take the routes of the texture created as the sea would respond when hitting different edges of the cliff face.

My Rock Vases are inspired by the barnacles and various creatures stuck onto the rocks. To create these pieces I throw on the potters wheel using a porcelain body to get the beautiful smooth cream finish. The texture is added by mixing couscous with  slip (liquid clay) and adding to the form at leather hard stage after having turned and finished the vase. After being fired for the first time I add a shiny transparent glaze all over and oxides are added to the textured parts to create the colours.


The Guernsey Bean Jar series was developed after I had spoken to various local people about the traditional dish. It seemed to me that each family, parish, and restaurant  have their different recipes and secrets to the dish.


Having seen one of the large cooking Bean Jars in person I loved the sense of sharing you get from them and to me it seems quite an event is made from this tradition. I wanted to respond to the uniqueness of each different recipe by making smaller individual pots which could be used to serve the meal. Each pot is special and different from the next to suit various tastes and personalities.


For more information about Libby Ballard Ceramics please go to my  website where you can find links to my etsy page and facebook. I also started a blog during my residency at Elizabeth College, where I          documented all my processes and information about the pottery classes I ran.

I love to work on new commissions, if there is a piece you missed out on at this exhibition or would like to discuss further, please do not hesitate to get in contact.



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Sponsored by Ravenscroft, Ltd.