World renowned ceramicist at Seaton Art Society

PUBLISHED: 07:02 17 December 2017

Amanda Popham at work. Picture: SUBMITTED

Amanda Popham at work. Picture: SUBMITTED


Amanda Popham shows how she creates her beautiful sculptural figures

World renowned ceramicist Amanda Popham revealed some fascinating facts about her work during a demonstration and talk at Seaton and District Art Society’s annual meeting

Many local people have already admired her very beautiful sculptural figures displayed at The Steam Gallery, Beer.

It is a measure of her reputation that for 20 years she supplied much of her output to ‘Liberty, London’.

Today, most of her much-prized work is sold through international commissions on the internet.

Amanda’s unique ceramic figures are usually part functional, typically jugs or clocks, but also half fantasy creatures possessing vaguely unsettling and edgy personas of their own. The subjects’ eyes are always intentionally rendered looking askance, making you wonder what they have been up to or, as Amanda says: “What they are just about to do!”

She admits though that their distinct personalities emerge, slightly creepily, during creation rather than being planned beforehand.

Amanda tackled the tricky task of demonstrating in just one hour a production process involving preparation of raw clay, modelling and then colour glazing before firing by bringing along examples of her work at those different stages.

She then commenced the demonstration with a prepared square slab of clay, drawing together its opposite edges to form a cylinder, which she then cut and formed into something resembling a jug with shoulders. Facial and other features where then added.

Putting that aside, she then took a more finished figure of one of the three wise men and began painting it with glaze, simultaneously fielding and answering questions from a completely entranced audience.

Amanda trained at The Royal College of Art, London, and later was granted a scholarship to study ceramics in Japan, which she describes as a most wonderful experience before returning home to a full basket of washing!

The demonstration and AGM were held at The Gateway, Seaton. The main AGM agenda item was the election of ex-headmaster David Evans as the new chairman for the Society.

New members wishing to join are always most welcome. For details, please telephone the secretary, Jenny Oldfield, on 01297 442873.

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