Bronwen Grieves

Bronwen Grieves is a Nottingham based ceramicist who creates decorative vessels that balance structure with fluidity. Largely self taught, Bronwen has been refining her ideas and process over the course of three decades. Using both organic and manmade forms as a reference point, Bronwen is interested in the plinths, legs and arches which hold up constructions, such as bridges and water-towers, and incorporates these ideas into her forms. Bronwen creates pieces that are purposefully utilitarian in style.

Ceramicist

Bronwen Grieves

East Midlands

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THE PROCESS

The vessels are built up using flattened coils of grogged stoneware clay, incised with vertical or horizontal lines and decorated with white slip rubbed down to reveal the lines and rough texture of the clay. Bronwen's strongest influences are derived from structure, texture and contrast. Influenced by structures both in the built and natural environment, Bronwen is just as likely to be inspired by towering cliffs and the texture of a rock, as an expansive bridge, viaduct or sky-scraping crane. The materiality of Bronwen's sculptures is important to her and she uses gritty clays, which are strong, to hand-build objects that are fragile.

  

Q&A

1. What motivates you to make?

I have been making objects out of clay for the last 30 years. For most of that time I have built things purely for the love of it, alone in my shed in the garden. It has been a private pleasure which I have pursued for no other reason than it absorbs me completely, and until recently, making has been completely separate from other aspects of my life. I enjoy the feel of clay so much, the very substance of it pulls me in and challenges me to build! I can’t imagine not doing it.

2. What and/or who are you most inspired or influenced by?

My strongest influences are around structure, texture and contrast. I am influenced by structures in the built and natural environment equally. My head is just as likely to be turned by towering cliffs and the texture of a rock, as an expansive bridge, viaduct or sky-scraping crane. I enjoy the materiality of these structures, but look for the contrasts too; the delicacy of pattern in the rough rock strata, or a nice curve or rhythm in the detail of an otherwise purely utilitarian structure. I use gritty clays, which are strong, to help me to hand-build objects that are fragile, I am deliberate in building objects on teetering legs with thin textured walls. I am always looking for the edge.

3. What is your unique approach to your craft, and how have you honed your skills?

I hand-build all my pieces. At some point in the last 30 years, I began to build using flat coils of clay which I incise with horizontal or vertical lines.

Each piece continues to be decorated like this, but it no longer dictates how I build an object. Hand building is very free, you can pretty much build anything of any size – subject to your skill and kiln size of course. I do very little in terms of additional decoration of my work. Currently I am only using white slips and glazes which I often rub away to reveal the texture of the clay body.

4. What is your defining or proudest moment as a maker so far?

Undoubtedly, becoming a professional potter is something that I am both proud of, and grateful for. It was an unlikely outcome for an untrained woman of middle age! But here I am and couldn’t be happier working full time in my garden shed/studio. I did not sell any of my work until 2018 and had been very resistant to doing so up until that point. The gentle persistence of friends and getting my work professionally photographed helped me to be a bit more objective and to finally take the plunge. I gave up my job in March 2019 and I am still a little amazed that I get to sell my work in beautiful settings alongside brilliant makers of all disciplines… long may it continue!

5. What is your dream project?

Not a project as such, but a bigger kiln would be nice. I have an itch to try my hand at much bigger work.

 

ALL PRODUCTS

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23 Products found

  1. White Stoneware Sculptural Form I
    White Stoneware Sculptural Form I
  2. Black Stoneware Vessel XIX
    Black Stoneware Vessel XIX
    Bronwen Grieves
    £320
  3. Black Stoneware Sculptural Form VI
    Black Stoneware Sculptural Form VI
  4. White Crank Sculptural Form with White Slip I
    White Crank Sculptural Form with White Slip I
    Out of stock
    Bronwen Grieves
    £320
    Out of stock
  5. Black Stoneware Sculptural Form with White Slip VIII
    Black Stoneware Sculptural Form with White Slip VIII
    Out of stock
  6. Black Stoneware Sculptural Form IV
    Black Stoneware Sculptural Form IV
    Out of stock
    Bronwen Grieves
    £540
    Out of stock
  7. White Crank Sculptural Form I
    White Crank Sculptural Form I
    Out of stock
    Bronwen Grieves
    £420
    Out of stock
  8. Black Stoneware Sculptural Form V
    Black Stoneware Sculptural Form V
    Out of stock
    Bronwen Grieves
    £540
    Out of stock
  9. Black Stoneware Sculptural Form with White Slip VII
    Black Stoneware Sculptural Form with White Slip VII
    Out of stock
  10. Black Stoneware Sculptural Form with White Slip IV
    Black Stoneware Sculptural Form with White Slip IV
    Out of stock
    Bronwen Grieves
    £460
    Out of stock
  11. Black Stoneware Sculptural Form with White Slip VII
    Black Stoneware Sculptural Form with White Slip VII
    Out of stock
  12. Black Stoneware Sculptural Form with White Slip VI
    Black Stoneware Sculptural Form with White Slip VI
    Out of stock
    Bronwen Grieves
    £440
    Out of stock
  13. Black Stoneware Vessel XVI
    Black Stoneware Vessel XVI
    Out of stock
    Bronwen Grieves
    £330
    Out of stock
  14. White Crank Vessel XX
    White Crank Vessel XX
    Out of stock
    Bronwen Grieves
    £280
    Out of stock
  15. Black Stoneware Vessel XII
    Black Stoneware Vessel XII
    Out of stock
    Bronwen Grieves
    £300
    Out of stock
  16. Black Stoneware Sculptural Form III
    Black Stoneware Sculptural Form III
    Out of stock
    Bronwen Grieves
    £400
    Out of stock
  17. Black Stoneware Sculptural Form II
    Black Stoneware Sculptural Form II
    Out of stock
    Bronwen Grieves
    £390
    Out of stock
  18. Black Stoneware Sculptural Form I
    Black Stoneware Sculptural Form I
    Out of stock
    Bronwen Grieves
    £400
    Out of stock
  19. White Stoneware Vessel VII
    White Stoneware Vessel VII
    Out of stock
    Bronwen Grieves
    £270
    Out of stock
  20. White Stoneware Vessel V
    White Stoneware Vessel V
    Out of stock
    Bronwen Grieves
    £320
    Out of stock
  21. White Crank Vessel XVI
    White Crank Vessel XVI
    Out of stock
    Bronwen Grieves
    £420
    Out of stock
  22. Black Stoneware Sculptural Form with White Slip III
    Black Stoneware Sculptural Form with White Slip III
    Out of stock
  23. Black Stoneware Sculptural Form with White Slip I
    Black Stoneware Sculptural Form with White Slip I
    Out of stock
    Bronwen Grieves
    £400
    Out of stock
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23 Products found