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Alison Gautrey

Alison Gautrey’s spun porcelain vessels in a monochrome palette are almost weightless. In her sculptural works, Alison successfully combines certain randomness in the process with an intuitive vision given by her design background, paired with her knowledge of material.

Using a range of very limited colours – black, white, sometimes a hint of blue – and the same shape, Alison focuses on the control of pigment and movement given by it. In some, there are perfectly defined areas where the black pigment appears, a diagonal black surface contrasting with a luminous white surface, the black slightly tilting due to the weight of the pigment. In others, the pigments create an array of painterly shades of grey, conveying landscapes around the edges of the vessels.

Sometimes there is a distinct contrast between the exterior and interior surfaces where technique and tonal variation create unique patterns. The interior is blended and chaotic whilst the exterior remains calm with controlled bands of defined pigment.

After years of experimenting, Alison has found a way of combining porcelain with bone china. The extremely subtle difference in the shrinkage of materials allows for a ‘mark”, a curving, an extraneous volume in her pieces, exploiting the inevitable distortions that occur. She is a master at achieving thinness yet at the same time volume, a perfect tension.

Repetition of the same simple form allows Alison to present a range of differences and contrasts, masterly combining randomness, chance and control with the use of pigment in a delicate surface.

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