Jacqueline Leighton Boyce

With a BA and MA in Ceramic Design from Central St Martins, Jacqueline Leighton Boyce creates handmade earthenware ceramics, which she decorates with motifs inspired by nature such as birds and flowers. Based in Devon, she draws her inspiration from the surrounding landscape and her pieces are imbued with an appealing rawness. There is a folkloric element to her recent work for The New Craftsmen, which features doves, swifts, dandelions and stags.

Ceramicist

Jacqueline Leighton Boyce

South West England

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THE PROCESS

Each of Jacqueline’s ceramics are formed out of red terracotta clay using coil-building techniques. They are decorated with layers of slip and underglaze, which she then draws motifs directly onto, using sgraffito and paint. Occasionally, metallic lustres are applied sparingly to highlight details. Nature is a recurrent theme throughout Jacqueline's work, and her illustrative vessels are inspired by the surrounding landscape at home, in Devon.

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Q&A

1. What motivates you to make?

My environment has always inspired me the most. As an artist, it is impossible not to be influenced creatively by the colours, textures, qualities of light and sounds of your immediate surroundings. Working with clay and glazes also motivates me to create objects. These are materials that have been very much part of my life for several decades now; it would be hard to imagine an existence without being able to mould life into a lump of clay.

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

I have been greatly inspired by the ceramics of Picasso, but my home of Exmoor influences me the most. Each season shows a new array of flora, fauna, textures, colour and light. I was brought up on Exmoor on a farm and so the landscape fulfills a spiritual need for me.

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

As a student, I was taught the many different technical processes that you can use within ceramics. But I’ve found that working in a spontaneous way, without the use of many devices and technical processes, has always worked best for me. I hand build all my pieces (apart from the plates that are press moulded) using the coiling technique. Although I have a rough idea of shape and size, I find that once I have made a start, I get a sense that the clay wants to take a certain amount of control and I move in the direction it wants to go. Form emerges according to many factors, such as my mood or the temperature of the clay.

Once I have finalised the form, I paint a white slip (liquid clay) over the entire surface as it creates a beautiful painterly and fluid surface to work on. When it comes to decorating my pieces, I approach each surface as a painting. I use a needle to scratch illustrations and paintbrushes to apply ceramic colour. Areas can be reapplied, colours changed, and layers built up, until the piece is finished. All my pieces are fired at least three times and finally I apply liquid metallic lustres on some areas before firing again at a much lower temperature.

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

My proudest moment was to achieve a First Class degree from the Central St Martins School of Art in Ceramic Design. My work was very different back in those days and I had moved from Cornwall to London. For the first year I found London’s urban environment challenging in terms of finding inspiration. But the inspiration came and I eventually took off with immense energy in a new direction. I was very proud of my degree show and had my work featured as one of the best of the 1989 degree shows in Design magazine. This moment was particularly significant to me as I had developed arthritis as a young teenager and was told that I would never have a career or go to college! I was also very proud of the three commissioned pieces I completed for The New Craftsmen before Christmas in 2020.

5. What is your dream project?

I am a big admirer of the Dutch garden Designer called Piet Oudolf and his naturalistic perennial plantings. I often dream of having a commission to complete four pots (one for each season) depicting the essence of the colours, shapes and textures of one of his garden designs.

ALL PRODUCTS

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Products 1-12 of 19 found

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  1. Daffodils at Night Platter
    Daffodils at Night Platter
    Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    £310
  2. Tulips in the Snow Platter
    Tulips in the Snow Platter
    Out of stock
    Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    £260
    Out of stock
  3. Auriculas and the Common Blues Platter
    Auriculas and the Common Blues Platter
    Out of stock
    Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    £310
    Out of stock
  4. Beneath the Ground Vessel
    Beneath the Ground Vessel
    Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    £600
  5. The Feeding Bees Vessel
    The Feeding Bees Vessel
    Out of stock
    Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    £600
    Out of stock
  6. Dahlias Vessel
    Dahlias Vessel
    Out of stock
    Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    £640
    Out of stock
  7. Dandelions at Night Vessel
    Dandelions at Night Vessel
    Out of stock
    Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    £720
    Out of stock
  8. Hydrangeas Vessel
    Hydrangeas Vessel
    Out of stock
    Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    £720
    Out of stock
  9. The Arrival of Butterflies Vase
    The Arrival of Butterflies Vase
    Out of stock
    Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    £720
    Out of stock
  10. Rosehips Platter
    Rosehips Platter
    Out of stock
    Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    £260
    Out of stock
  11. Blackberries Platter
    Blackberries Platter
    Out of stock
    Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    £260
    Out of stock
  12. Chinese Lanterns Platter
    Chinese Lanterns Platter
    Out of stock
    Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    £310
    Out of stock
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Products 1-12 of 19 found

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