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.

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 defining 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.

To find out more about commissioning Jacqueline Leighton Boyce for a bespoke piece or to be kept informed about new collections from this particular maker, please email [email protected]

ALL PRODUCTS

 

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15 Products found

  1. Flamboyance Vessel I by Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    Flamboyance Vessel I
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    15 Products found

    Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    £1,320
    Out of stock
  2. Tansy Vessel I by Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    Tansy Vessel I
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    15 Products found

    Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    £1,160
    Out of stock
  3. Summer Bouquet Vessel I by Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    Summer Bouquet Vessel I
    Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    £840
  4. Astrantia Vessel I by Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    Astrantia Vessel I
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    15 Products found

    Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    £1,160
    Out of stock
  5. A Quiet Corner Vessel I by Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    A Quiet Corner Vessel I
    Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    £1,320
  6. Dahlia Vessel I by Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    Dahlia Vessel I
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    15 Products found

    Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    £1,160
    Out of stock
  7. Tulips Platter II by Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    Tulips Platter II
    Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    £600
  8. Tulips Platter I by Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    Tulips Platter I
    Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    £840
  9. Snowdrops Platter I by Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    Snowdrops Platter I
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    15 Products found

    Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    £600
    Out of stock
  10. Dahlia Platter I by Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    Dahlia Platter I
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    15 Products found

    Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    £480
    Out of stock
  11. Buttercups at Dusk Platter I by Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    Buttercups at Dusk Platter I
    Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    £720
  12. Swifts Platter by Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    Swifts Platter
    Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    £720
  13. Narcissi Vessel I by Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    Narcissi Vessel I
    Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    £1,020
  14. Tulips Vessel I by Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    Tulips Vessel I
    Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    £1,160
  15. Falling Leaves Platter by Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    Falling Leaves Platter
    Jacqueline Leighton Boyce
    £720
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15 Products found