Claire Ireland MSDC


About Claire
Claire uses hand building techniques, developing texture, surface and colour, which become integral to the form. She draws inspiration from her sketchbooks, collections and culturally diverse imagery. Her desire is to find the essence of her subject.
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Claire Ireland produces hand built sculptural ceramics and uses a variety of experimental firing techniques. She creates work ranging from small creatures to large-scale pieces for courtyard gardens, outdoor locations and contemporary living spaces. She utilises a range of hand building methods adapting coils, manipulating soft slabs, pinching and carving the surface to achieve her desired forms. Claire uses stoneware bodies and porcelain for smaller work. She paints the pieces with engobe, oxides and body stains and fires to 1260 to achieve a weatherproof structure.

She also has the opportunity at her London studio to experiment with smoke firing techniques to achieve an alternative surface, which involves pit and saggar firings using sawdust, copper wire, seaweed and other combustible materials. She will often create a series of small sculptural forms that serve as working maquettes. Her large final pieces interplay three-dimensional form with texture and glaze. The discipline of drawing and her continuous sketchbook studies are of prime importance to her.

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Claire's studio is at the London Museum of Water and Steam. She uses the creative atmosphere, facilities and special location to inspire her work. She has completed commissioned work for specific locations in private gardens and was an Artist in Residence at Pimlico Academy, a newly built secondary school in central London, developing a ceramic and steel installation for their roof top garden. Claire has also designed a commemorative Portland Stone panel for Pocahontas, which has now been installed in the Syon Park Estate. Her next project is to create a series of site-specific sculptural ceramic and metal pieces to be installed in the Steam Museum in different locations over several months.

Claire has been creating her own work and exhibiting nationally and internationally since graduating from Camberwell College of Art in 1981. She divides her time between her studio and teaching commitments, having specialised over the years in visual research, experimental printmaking on paper and mixed media. These have been incorporated into the ceramic techniques she uses and teaches in her workshops; contemporary hand building and decorative methods using slips, underglaze colours, oxides and glazes. This has led Claire to be involved with Foundation, Degree, and Higher National Diploma courses in jewellery, glass and ceramics. She also runs specialist short courses on smoke firing techniques and experimental paper clay for art societies, colleges and privately at her studio. She is a professional member of The Craft Potters Association and her ceramics are featured in two publications from A&C Black “Ceramics with Mixed Media“ and “Ceramic Jewellery”, both by Joy Bosworth.

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