A Porcelain World

Sketches Come to Life in These Ceramic Sculptures They look like ink drawings that have outgrown the page and walked into our own 3-dimensional world. London-based artist Katharine Morling’s enchanting porcelain sculptures are pleasing in their immediacy and enshrine a sort of childlike wonder. In September Katharine will, for the first time, be presenting her new installation Garden’s Edge alongside her older body of work, Stilted Life at the Shipley Art Gallery. 1 2 3 “My work is very driven by my own personal narrative,” she tells us. “For example ‘A Stitch in Time’ is about my childhood memory of getting a wicker basket that I then turned into a sewing case, which led to hours of making and creativity. As I was making this piece I decided to put a rabbit in the basket, for me this is adding the element of surprise and delight, but for others this enables them to look at the work and overlay their own memories and fantasies of what this piece means to them.” Katharine invited us in to her porcelain world for a chat. The Plus: Can you tell us a little bit about your artistic background? Katharine Morling: I started training in art therapy but felt I hadn’t developed myself enough to be an art therapist – you need to understand your own practice first. So I started studying ceramics. The first ceramics I made were highly glazed, very decorative majolica type wares which were a bit traditional really. I wasn’t very happy with them as I felt they were steeped in history and constricted by the rules about ceramics I had picked up at college. They didn’t really represent me as a person and the way people thought about them – seeing them as something fun and playful – was not really how I thought of myself as an artist. So I went to the RCA [in 2007 to do an MA in Glass and Ceramics] and my work completely changed as I started doing my black and white pieces. I feel that now my work has a darker element to it and I’ve got a much clearer artistic voice – although I’ve still got a long way to go. 5 TP: How would you describe your work? KM: My work can be described as 3-dimensional drawings, in the medium of ceramics, primarily using porcelain with black stain. Each piece, on the surface, an inanimate object, has been given layers of emotion and embedded with stories, which are open for interpretation in the viewer’s mind. TP: Any plans for the future? KM: I want to open a ceramic arts centre which will have my studio in. The studio will also have a focus on art therapy and run workshops and classes. 4 6 7