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Leah Jensen On Show | London Craft Week 2017

The New Craftsmen is delighted to present the first solo exhibition of ceramicist Leah Jensen. The exhibition will launch during London Craft Week 2017 with a series of events, running from Tuesday 2nd May – Saturday 17th June.

Leah Jensen will be creating six new vessels for the exhibition, showcasing her distinctive technique of carving geometric patterns into clay.

‘On Show’ is an occasional series of solo exhibitions at The New Craftsmen, encouraging makers to create a new body of collectible work that pushes the boundaries of their craft and skills.

Leah is twenty-six years old and graduated from Falmouth University in 2014 with a degree in Contemporary Crafts. She was subsequently invited to show at ‘One Year On’ at New Designers where we discovered her. She is currently a recipient of the Clear Insurance award at Cockpit Arts and her work has been the The New Craftsmen’s fastest-selling to date.

The origins of Leah’s process can be traced back to her university studies when responding to a project on china she became fascinated by the intricate microscopic patterns of porcelain. She began to carve these patterns into the clay, inspired by their strong geometric structure. Wanting to imbue the work and process with more narrative Leah eventually turned to Renaissance art, her favourite period, and the long-standing relationship between maths and painting. Her work now sees her coiling the clay, placing images of paintings onto the surface and then pinning points from these images. These are then removed to reveal an intricately mapped surface pattern that she carves from.

The series sees her create six finished vessels, as well as two on display that are ‘in process’ to illustrate her making technique, including porcelain, stoneware and for the first time terracotta. The porcelain pieces in the series are also combined with burnt wood bottoms – creating a subtle feeling of discomfort through the juxtaposition of dirty and clean, rough and refined.

Leah has embraced the 3d aesthetic of her work and has named the style of her work ‘anti-digital’. This also reflects the pure enjoyment she derives from the carving process and the opportunity to further develop her own skills and eye for shape and composition. For this series all of the paintings Leah has chosen have been from the National Gallery in London.

“Leah’s pieces challenge our understanding of making through their juxtaposition of symmetry and detail with raw materials. I also really admire Leah’s commitment to her technique – her drive for perfection, delving further and further into the same subject – and truly believe that her body work is quickly moving into the contemporary collectors’ market.” – Catherine Lock, Creative Director

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