As with nearly all my creatures I made this bird from a single “sheet” of rolled clay.
I design a paper template and then cut the clay to shape and then gently fold, squeeze and encourage it into life.
I have kept to a restricted pallet of blue and white oxides brushed and stippled onto the mixed terracotta of the body clay between multiple firings.
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Many of my ceramics start with a narrative that’s either imagined, half remembered, carefully researched or commissioned. I am always interested in taking on commissioned work especially of a commemorative nature.
A love of whimsy, folk art, religious and tribal art and my background as an illustrator, all go into the mix.
I work with a variety of clays into which I often add other fragments of additional material. These ”inclusions” plus the use of oxides and multiple firings add to the alchemy and give the clay a distressed or patinated surface.
Once described as “Possibly one of the UK’s most successful illustrators that no-one has ever heard of” Derek Matthews has worked for a raft of top flight clients from Tokyo to Toronto. The Snappy series of children’s books he illustrated sold more than 13 million copies worldwide including a number one American best seller.
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