My inspiration for this whimsical little chap was a rare 18th Century Staffordshire pottery tobacco jar.
As with the majority of my work this is a totally unique piece.
12.5 × 10 × 18 cm
I created his “dredged up from the sea” patination by applying oxides and layers of slip and ongobe (solutions of very fine particles of clay) over the terracotta base and then submitting the poor fellow to 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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