Ruthin Craft centre – Lasting impressions

Ashraf Hanna 

Red Vessel form

Amber red vessel form

I was drawn to this piece as it was located near a window which allowed light to travel through the piece creating casts of red light on the plinth. Ashraf uses a hand building process in regards to exploring line, volume and space. The forms are sculpted in solid clay before a mould is made and then kiln-cast in glass. This process of transformation offers an opportunity to contemplate the relationship between object and material and how this influences our perception and understanding of form. He’s driven by the passion for objects, tactility and craftsmanship. His work changes and evolves, sometimes a subtle and instantly identifiable development, other time radical shifts, but he’s always strived for authenticity and innovation.

Ashraf’s work is extremely beautiful and innovative, It’s made me think of the scale I work in, I would like to work bigger during my third year as I think it draws people into your work and helps them understand the material presence and craft. I’m drawn to the glass because of how the light shifts through it, this makes me want to experiment with the limitations of material especially with porcelain and how light can travel through.

Adi Toch

Hold Out Your Hands, Rose gold plated gilding metal and freshwater pearls


Adi Toch believes that vessels and containers are an innate method of communication. They covey a story of gathering, holding, storing – not only do they surround us in everyday lives; they shape our perception of the division between inside and out. The practice of making vessels enables her to work both with metal and space as materials, thereby redefining those borders. Her work communicates through its sensory qualities and invites the observer to pick up or look closely before revealing its story.

All though Adi is inspired by holding and storing of day to day objects, her work isn’t necessarily functional for everyday use, in her work she does store precious objects such as pearls which represents the richness of what we choose to store as these are the objects which define us. The craftsmanship which has gone into her work is beautiful, this can easily be appreciated by anyone, I think using metal as it’s a precious material is the basis. Her work has made me think of function, specifically the function of my work, I want to shift to creating more sculptural work but sometimes I struggle as I’m passionate about function. This piece makes me want to explore the border between function and sculpture, the way people interact with the work and the materials I use will define this.

In terms of making, I would like to use porcelain as it’s a delicate material, this will shift its function to being sculptural. Porcelain can be quite a fluid material when fired, it can warp a lot in the kiln, it’s made me want to experiment with porcelain slip and slumping.

John McKeag 

Double walled vessel 2018


John Mckeag

John uses the pottery wheel as the basis to create his work. He likes a lot of repetition which enhances skill and quality of finish, it also makes you aware and sensitive to the differences and variation between things that have a commonality. His work is often fired multiple times in gas and electric kiln to achieve surfaces which are vivid and active, this work references the ‘lasting impressions’ of his childhood wondering through the Australian landscape.

I was initially drawn to his work because of the incredible bright colours, looking closely at the forms I was intrigued to find how he achieved such bright colours and textures in his work. His work is primarily sculptural all though some might argue they could be functional as the indentation at the top could represent a bowl. Initially I thought he used slip cast to create these forms, I was very surprised to see they were thrown on the wheel, there’s a lot of craftsmanship that’s gone into these work, especially in regards to glaze. It’s interesting to know that he uses two methods of firing to create these work, this definitely challenges me to consider other forms of firing as I only currently understand electric firing. His interest in repetition also inspires me, with slip casting there is a lot of repetition, I’ve noticed with some firings all though I try to make them all the same, I get various results. I know there are many possibilities into why this happens, but I’d like to focus in-depth into this.

Adam Buick 

Place of seven


He uses a single moon jar form inspired by Korean ceramic traditions as a canvas for all his work as part of an ongoing study observing his surroundings. He incorporates stone and locally dug clay into his work to create a narrative which coveys a sense of place. His inspiration comes from archaeological theories that the Menhirs of prehistory are a veneration of the landscapes that surrounds them. His work is ultimately about being present within a landscape.

This piece was based on the legend of ‘Tresaith’ – When a King of Ireland had seven troublesome daughters, he decided to cast them away in a boat without sails. The currents carried them east and they came ashore upon a west Wales beach. They were rescued shortly after by seven local farmers, with whom they fell in love and married. The place was names Tresaith, the ‘Place of Seven’, for each of the troublesome daughters who made it their home.

What initially attracted me to Adam’s work was the film being played, there was vulnerability in his work floating at sea, going their separate ways. The work was commissioned into the theme ‘CROSSINGS’, other work commissioned focused on the theme of dangerous sea crossings including journeys undertaken by refugees. It’s interesting to see how his traditional work fits in with current affairs, his use of film to document this process was vital to the success. This work is definitely innovative, seeing how traditional methods of making incorporated by modern technology developments can represent problems which people are facing today, this is evidence of how important art is to help people understand and feel the vulnerability and danger people are in today.

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