Charlotte McLeish

East London-based ceramicist Charlotte McLeish makes elegant stoneware vases and vessels. Drawing inspiration from ancient Greek and Egyptian ceramics, her pieces offer a pure and refined take on a traditional style. Having grown up in a family of jewellers, she has always been fascinated with hand-made processes and went on to study Ceramic Design at Central St Martins. Charlotte combines five different clays and uses only two dry glazes, resulting in her pieces having strong visual unity.

Ceramicist

Charlotte McLeish

London

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THE PROCESS

Charlotte’s ceramics are handmade using a combination of pinching and coiling methods. They are decorated with slips and glazes, which Charlotte often mixes with organic materials, such as sand and seaweed. Her pieces are heavily informed by classical shapes and often include a hand-painted illustration inspired by traditional storytelling be it Greek Mythology or Elizabethan folklore.

Q&A

1. What motivates you to make?

My main motivation is the act of making and using my hands to realise a design. At the beginning of a new project I spend a long time experimenting and playing around with different clays and techniques, and from these experiments I arrive at my final designs. I enjoy getting lost in the construction of each piece and seeing a story or idea slowly take shape. Historical research plays a big part in my work and is always my starting point for any project.

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

I draw my inspiration from a number of sources and often visit the V&A and British Museum to sketch their collection of ancient ceramics. I particularly like creating layers and textures in my work and enjoy the accidental crackles and movement this creates. I am constantly looking around me, always fascinated by the history of an area and the people who have lived there. I particularly take inspiration from everyday objects that the owner has had a personal connection with. I think there’s nothing more wonderful than an intricately carved butter mould from the 1800s or a 17th century pewter tankard; I feel particularly drawn to the stories that these objects tell, and the small snapshot you get into the lives of their owner. I try to incorporate some of this into my own work by using found objects as tools, or by taking small impressions of my surroundings in clay and then using those impressions as stamps.

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

I think having a background in jewellery influences how I work. I prefer to work on a relatively small scale and then use these small elements to make a larger form. I feel I can only really realise the designs in this way, and although I may have a small sketch of an idea, it's only when I sit down with some clay that I can fully understand what I want my piece to look like. I also like to build up depth and texture in my work by adding layers of slips and clays.

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

After finishing my degree in ceramic design at Central St Martins I worked at several pottery studios and this is where I developed my knowledge of ceramics, and my skills as a potter. In April 2020, I was delighted to be selected by Hatta Byng, editor of House & Garden, and Gabby Deeming, Creative Director (Decoration) at House & Garden, as a winner of the Artist Support Pledge Tyson Award.

5. What is your dream project?

I'm drawn to the idea of telling a story and would love to do some large-scale illustration work. Whether that’s through a series of plaques, or 3D forms, I’m not yet sure.

To be kept informed about new collections from Charlotte McLeish please email [email protected]

ALL PRODUCTS

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24 Products found

  1. Poppy & Passiflora Vessel by Charlotte McLeish
    Poppy & Passiflora Vessel
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    24 Products found

    Charlotte McLeish
    £1,400
    Out of stock
  2. Hellebore Vessel by Charlotte McLeish
    Hellebore Vessel
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    24 Products found

    Charlotte McLeish
    £380
    Out of stock
  3. Vinca Rosea Vessel II by Charlotte McLeish
    Vinca Rosea Vessel II
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    24 Products found

    Charlotte McLeish
    £420
    Out of stock
  4. Iris Collection I by Charlotte McLeish
    Iris Collection I
    Charlotte McLeish
    £510
  5. Iris Collection II by Charlotte McLeish
    Iris Collection II
    Charlotte McLeish
    £490
  6. Iris Collection III by Charlotte McLeish
    Iris Collection III
    Charlotte McLeish
    £330
  7. Iris Collection IV by Charlotte McLeish
    Iris Collection IV
    Charlotte McLeish
    £420
  8. Iris Collection V by Charlotte McLeish
    Iris Collection V
    Charlotte McLeish
    £400
  9. Grey Aryballos Vessel III
    Grey Aryballos Vessel III
    Charlotte McLeish
    £130
  10. Telling The Bees Vessel III
    Telling The Bees Vessel III
    Charlotte McLeish
    £360
  11. Bleeding Heart Yard Vessel III
    Bleeding Heart Yard Vessel III
    Charlotte McLeish
    £360
  12. Long Meg Vessel II
    Long Meg Vessel II
    Charlotte McLeish
    £380
  13. Bleeding Heart Yard Vessel I
    Bleeding Heart Yard Vessel I
    Charlotte McLeish
    £380
  14. Dancer Vessel IV
    Dancer Vessel IV
    Charlotte McLeish
    £360
  15. Leaf Vessel II
    Leaf Vessel II
    Charlotte McLeish
    £350
  16. Honey Plate I by Charlotte McLeish
    Honey Plate I
    Charlotte McLeish
    £180
  17. Honey Platter I by Charlotte McLeish
    Honey Platter I
    Charlotte McLeish
    £320
  18. Honey Footed Bowl I by Charlotte McLeish
    Honey Footed Bowl I
    Charlotte McLeish
    £520
  19. Honey Vessel II by Charlotte McLeish
    Honey Vessel II
    Charlotte McLeish
    £450
  20. Honey Vessel III by Charlotte McLeish
    Honey Vessel III
    Charlotte McLeish
    £420
  21. Cherry Vessel II by Charlotte McLeish
    Cherry Vessel II
    Charlotte McLeish
    £240
  22. Pansy Platter by Charlotte McLeish
    Pansy Platter
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    24 Products found

    Charlotte McLeish
    £700
    Out of stock
  23. Tulip Footed Bowl by Charlotte McLeish
    Tulip Footed Bowl
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    24 Products found

    Charlotte McLeish
    £1,350
    Out of stock
  24. Wild Boar Vessel by Charlotte McLeish
    Wild Boar Vessel
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    24 Products found

    Charlotte McLeish
    £480
    Out of stock
View as Grid List

24 Products found