Ceramicist Lara Scobiewas the December 2009 maker in the spotlight.
Lara initially studied design at Camberwell College of Art, specialising in ceramics. She went on to complete a postgraduate year at Edinburgh College of Art. She now teaches at Duncan of Jordanstone College, where she also researches the exploration of three dimensional form and surface pattern.
“I had a fantastic teacher at school whose enthusiasm and excitement for the subject was infectious, I adored being in the pottery and spent all my extra time in there. Clay is such a versatile material, you really can do anything with it.”
Lara describes her work as being concerned with the interplay between form and pattern. She produces ceramics with a timeless quality to them – simple forms with delicate rims and edges, surface patterns and colour exploring those observed in botanical life. Her work is hand built using various techniques, refined, layered and enhanced, and then hand polished and finished with wax polish.
“I’ve always enjoyed the challenges that are presented through working in clay from construction techniques and surface treatment through to the chemistry behind glazing and firing. But most of all I love the fact that you can take a basic material from the earth that is soft and formless and mould it into a finished piece that, once fired in the kiln, is metamorphosised into a permanent piece of ceramic art.”
Within The C Word advert, we show a customer in a shop looking at a piece of Lara’s craft, before seeing the same bowl broken into fragments.
“Seeing my work on screen has made me look at it in a new light, and although my work is smashed to smithereens I actually feel it’s a very powerful and emotive image. It’s shocking to see a piece of highly crafted work treated that way but it almost works as a metaphor for the preciousness of the craft and of the skill and innovation embedded within craft.”
“The C Word is important because for a long time the Scottish craft scene has needed to raise its game and be more forthcoming with its approach to promotion, and The C Word is doing exactly that. The C Word is ambitious, creative and provocative. Everyone is talking about it, and at last there are conversations happening all around the craft sector, people are now talking together and hopefully we are now going to see some joined-up thinking.”
As for 2010?
“I’ve been so busy since the summer that I’m looking forward to the quiet time in January and February and take the opportunity to work on some new ideas. After that I have a variety of exhibitions to work for. “