Saturday, September 4, 2010

An interview with Julie George

Q – Could you introduce yourself briefly to the readers?

Hi, my name is Julie George and I am a ceramic artist – I share a studio with another ceramicist on a lovely Cotswold farm and spend as much time there as I can – unfortunately I have another job as well!

Q - How did you become interested in art?

I always enjoyed it at school and have had various creative interests over the years (glass painting, silversmithing, jewellery making). I did an Access to Art course in 2002 at Swindon College followed by an HND in ceramics which really focussed my interest on ceramics.

Q - What inspires you most as an artist?

Nature – particularly the sea and coastline. I grew up in Guernsey in the Channel Islands and am still influenced by the forms, textures and colours of the seaside. I am also very interested in architecture and find that inspires some of my work.

Q - What is your favourite medium or media? Why?

Ceramics – I find clay really interesting because it is so challenging and versatile. Glazing fascinates me because it is unpredictable and every piece is a one-off.

Q - Could you tell us some more about your work?

I work in two main ways – slip-casting with porcelain slip using moulds I have made myself and hand-building using a textured crank clay which fires to a warm sandy/toasty colour. I like to layer texture, slip, oxides and glazes to create different decorative effects

Q - How would you define your style?

I want to create pieces that give people pleasure to use and to look at. I tend to use fairly simple forms and add interest and complexity with decoration

Q - What are your influences; artists from the past or present who inspire you?

Jenny Beavan, Matthew Chambers, Jo Connell, Amanda Hoskin and Kurt Jackson.

Q - How do you choose the subjects of your works?

I get ideas all over the place – on holiday, walking in the countryside, at the supermarket! I always have a sketchbook with me so I can do a quick drawing and write a few notes when I see something I want to use. I enjoy talking to other artists about their work as I find that helps clarify and develops my ideas as well.

Q- How do you prepare yourself for an exhibition or a show like the Open Studios?

Trying to get enough stock made in time can be a challenge! With clay it can take a long time for pieces to dry out enough to be fired especially if the weather is cold or damp. As I can only be at the studio part time I have to make sure I focus on what I want to make rather than doing too much experimenting when I have an event to prepare for.

Q - Are there territories (media, subjects, etc.) you want to explore in the coming years?

I want to learn more about glazing and get together a new range of work with a more architectural influence.

Q - As an artist, what would be your dream?

To be able to make enough money with my art to do it full-time and give up ‘the day job’.

Q - Could you share one thing that you have learnt in your own art practice that would be useful to other artists?

That even when you have a slow day at an exhibition/craft fair, etc and don’t make many sales you can still have made useful contacts which could be profitable at a future date.

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