Michèle Connell MSDC

Ceramics

About Michèle
Michèle creates vibrant decorative ceramics informed by the vivid Mediterranean colours and light of her childhood times in Tunisia and France. There are three distinct styles: sgraffito, majolica and unglazed modelled figurative pieces.
Biography Back to top

Of the three distinct styles, Michèle's sgraffito dishes and pillow pots are the most technically complex requiring several processes and techniques. Earthenware clay (mainly red) is press moulded, then layers of white and/or coloured slip are applied. These, when leather hard, are drawn into with a sgraffito tool and words are pressed into the clay using metal printing blocks. The piece is then fired for the first time. Next, underglaze oxides are applied to create colour after which translucent glaze is applied before a second firing.

Michèle enjoys modelling mostly with red earthenware clay. Her figurative works are predominantly female heads interacting with natural forms such as leaves or flowers. The headwear can be highly textured.

Currently Michèle's majolica work involves painting on tiles dipped in zircon glaze. This facilitates quicker and more spontaneous design which is almost like watercolour painting

Inspiration comes from mythology (both Greek and local), the interconnectedness of humans with nature, and a desire for world peace.

Resumé Back to top

Michèle was educated at Guildford School of Art, Christ Church College of Education and North Essex School of Art & Design. In 1991, she was awarded Distinction in the Licentiates' Show of the Society of Designer Craftsmen.

With over 30 years of teaching art & ceramics in secondary schools in London and Colchester, and the Sixth Form College in Colchester, Michèle has encouraged and developed artistic skills in three generations of students. She has been Artist in Residence in schools in Maldon (1995-97) and Lecturer in French to art students at Colchester School of Art (1995-01).


Exhibitions

A range of solo and joint exhibitions, highlights include:

  • 1991 Society of Designer Craftsmen Distinction Licentiates' Show. Central St Martins' School of Art
  • 1992 Wildlife, group exhibition. Gosling's Gallery, Sudbury
  • 1992 Etchings & Ceramics, joint. Haylett's Gallery, Colchester
  • 1994 Pots & Panels. Digby Gallery, Colchester
  • 1994 Christmas exhibition. Haylett's Gallery, Colchester
  • 1995 Gift for Aziza. Quay Theatre, Sudbury
  • 1995 Ceramics & Pastels, joint. Digby Gallery, Colchester
  • 1995 Christmas exhibition. Gainsborough House, Sudbury
  • 1998 A Potter Round the Med. Les Livres Gallery, Colchester
  • 2000 A Potter & A Painter, joint. Hay Gallery, Colchester School of Art
  • 2003 Ceramics. Digby Gallery, Colchester
  • 2004 SDC Designer Crafts. The Mall Galleries, London
  • 2004 Michele Connell, Over the Sofa Gallery, Wivenhoe
  • 2005 SDC Designer Crafts. The Mall Galleries, London
  • 2008 SDC Designer Crafts. The Mall Galleries, London
  • 2008 SDC exhibition. The Oxo Tower, London
  • 2011 Colchester Art Society Summer Exhibition. Minories Gallery, Colchester
  • 2012 Myths & Memories. Digby Gallery, Colchester
  • 2019 Colchester Art Society Summer Exhibition. Minories Gallery, Colchester
  • 2019 Chroma City, joint. Parndon Mill, Harlow
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