Martin Pearce is exhibiting in May 2017 Open House Exhibition at MIAR Ceramics Arts
Our Directory Maker of the Week, Martin Pearce, talks to us about getting into making, what inspires him and his favourite part of the making process.
Who or what got you into making?
Ceramics has always been part of my life. My father, a Primary School teacher, introduced pottery as part of his art classes. He helped me throw my first pot when I was 10 years old. Consequently, the processes of making and firing were not a completely closed book to me. Life, however, took me to the study and practice of Interior Design. On a private level, I began to collect contemporary ceramics from fairs and galleries in the UK and The Netherlands. The aesthetic, and technical aspects of ceramics interested me, and I began experimenting with making over twenty years ago. In recent years I have spent much more time in my studio in the wilds of East Sussex. It is now a full time obsession.
Could you tell us a bit about your work?
From a technical point of view, all of my work is hand-built using flat strips and slabs of clay. Everything is, at the moment, built from stoneware, and finished with layers of slips and engobes. Visually, both the enclosed and open forms, are bio-morphic, abstract compositions with surfaces that suggest depth and fluidity. My ring forms, particularly, develop the ideas of movement and transience, hardly touching the surfaces on which they rest, and with a finish that both advances and recedes.
What are your inspirations?
Points of inspiration are very hard to pin down. Every piece begins with the materials and an idea or mood. The exact form that this will take is something that can emerge during the making process. Ultimately, however, natural forms predominate in my organic forms. Hillsides, sky-scapes, pebbles and seed pods, can all be seen in my work, but these are the means through which ideas and emotions can be expressed.
What is your favourite part of the making process?
I have two favourite parts in the making process. The first is the point when the character of a piece breaks through. This can be when a shape is being refined or when something unforeseen emerges. The second is during the creation of a surface, when deliberate mark making is replaced with intuitive action. At both stages, it feels as though a different part of the brain is being tapped into to create something on an intuitive level, that had not existed before.
What are you working on right now?
I am continuing to expand my vocabulary of abstraction. As for what I am literally working on now? I can only tell you when I have finished.