Vanessa Hogge makes intricate porcelain pieces inspired by nature
Our Directory Maker of the Week, Vanessa Hogge, talks to us about getting into making, what inspires her and her favourite part of the making process.
Who or what got you into making?
My A-level pottery teacher Paul Joy was a great inspiration. I was studying academic subjects but heard about the ceramics room from fellow pupils at my sixth form college and went to have a look. I was captivated and never looked back ever since.
Could you please tell us a bit about your work?
I make highly decorated wall pieces and vessels from porcelain. It’s a mesmerizing process! I’m addicted to the rhythm of repetitive action and how it can alter surfaces. I tear, pinch, roll, and cut the clay to form simple petals that blossom and grow into complex floral symmetrical forms. Each flower is hand formed – no moulds are used so every piece is unique.
What I love about porcelain is not its translucency or fragility, but its beauty when used in thicker sections to portray and resemble the most delicate of forms. The way porcelain changes in the making and firing process from a sticky and stubborn ‘plasticine’ into the toughest, most brittle and beautiful shades of stony white has inspired me to push it to its max …
What are your inspirations?
I'm on a mission to create objects of visual and textural beauty. I infuse my flower forms with all things feminine and matriarchal – channelling memories of my grandmother’s and mother’s African gardens, botanical illustrations, and influences as diverse as Frida Kahlo, Indian miniature paintings and Marianne North.
What is your favourite part of the making process?
I love the moment you place the very last petal onto a piece that has taken days or weeks to produce and realise it works - up until that point there is no knowing if it will come together and look good!
What are you working on right now?
At the moment I'm working on a commission of eleven wall pieces for a home in Kensington, as well preparing for a solo show in the South of France in May.