Vivien Phelan is an Ealing based ceramicist who often uses a potter’s wheel as a basis for shaping her humorous human figures and animals, which are inspired by English phrases and sayings. She tells us here about her art…
Who are you and what do you do? Why do you do it?
I am Vivien Phelan, ceramicist.
Clay is very tactile but involves many processes, not a rapid medium to work with.
What has been a seminal experience?
I was part of the T V show “Show me your Monet” The very special panel of artistic critics wanted to own a piece of my work.
How has your practice changed over time?
When I graduated, I was “attracted” to ladies with rather fat bodies, I like curves & dips. I enjoy working on the potter’s wheel but then want to alter the even shape.
What’s your scariest experience?
When I first got my own kiln I had many “melt downs” which is when you open the kiln all your hard work has turned to a pool of mush.
What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
I spent my life as a nurse till retirement, then I went back to uni to do a BA in ceramic and glass.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
A recent feel good moment was when I reproduced someone’s dog for his wife’s birthday. She said that was the best birthday present he had ever given her.
Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
I am part of Skylark galleries and I play golf.
What research to you do?
Always looking for new inspiration.
What superpower would you have and why?
Fly, no more slow traffic.