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Figurative ceramics by Vivien Phelan aka The Ceramicist

February 20, 2023 1 Comment

The Ceramicist blogging logo of Vivien Phelan of Skylark Galleries

The Terracotta army

I'm sure we're all aware of, and may even have seen close up, the Terracotta Army that was discovered in 1974 by a farmer.

On that day the farmer's aim had been to dig a well, not change his life for ever when his field became a historical burial site.

The ceramic men and soldiers of all ranks, horses, strong men and acrobats, are uniquely painted and have different facial expressions.

The whole army had been in the ground for over 2,200 years - and that tells you how strong clay - once fired - is. 

Click here to see images of - and learn more about - the Terracotta Army

Pablo Picasso's functional ceramics

Pablo Picasso is best known for his paintings but after World War ll, he took a trip to Vallauris, a town known for its pottery, situated in the south of France .

Picasso became hooked and started to play with clay. He preferred functional ceramics, making pots, plates, bowls and jugs and enhanced these with figurative decorations.

To see learn more about Picasso's ceramics click here

Barbara Hepworth stylised ceramics

Barbara Hepworth also did some figurative ceramic but in a much more stylised, flowing way.

To see an example click here.

Grayson Perry ceramic pots as figureative storytelling

And then contemporary artist Grayson Perry tends to throw ceramic pots as the base for his figurative storytelling, which might be political.

In Skylark Galleries we have six fantastic ceramic artists, four of whom, at times, lean towards the figurative.

To see and learn more about his work click here.

Ruty Benjamini's ceramic ladies

Ruty Benjamini’s two nude figurines express a mood or an attitude. Both are modelled in clay just “chilling out”, relaxing in a clay shell. The other figurine is perched on a painted wooden cube and is caught while she is “reflecting”. Each of these figurines is priced at £350

Ruty Benjamini ceramic ladies

Richard Dickson's porcelain winged figure

Richard Dickson’s amazing 'winged figure' in porcelain clay on 21cm stand. Priced at £325.

Richard Dickson's winged figure

Vivien Phelan ' She's barking mad'

And this is one of my own figurative ceramic pieces - "She's barking mad" - which are based on English language sayings. The ceramic figure is 28cm tall and 16cm wide. Priced at £298.

Viv Phelan's 'She's barking mad' ceramic

Blogging biography of Vivien Phelan The Ceramicist of Skylark Galleries

1 Response


March 22, 2023

Such an interesting and informative article.

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