Olivia Walker

Olivia Walker is fascinated with the intersection between the man-made and natural. Using porcelain, she throws precise forms, then covers them in paper-thin accretions. These organic, lichen-like growths speak of organisms - fungus, coral and bacteria - growing over and devouring the form beneath. Olivia Walker’s current body of work looks at the fine line between growth and decay. Her work is held in both public and private collections throughout the UK and worldwide.

Ceramicist

Olivia Walker

South East England

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THE PROCESS

Olivia Walker completed her ceramics training at the University of Creative Arts in Farnham, before training under renowned potter Julian Stair. Olivia always starts with a form thrown on the wheel, which is then cut and altered. Making in porcelain puts certain constraints on the piece in terms of size; the larger you throw it, the more issues can arise in the firing process. She therefore likes like to keep the thrown forms simple and related to function. Olivia’s studio is currently based in Devon.

Q&A

1. What motivates you to make?

I am motivated by the process of working with clay and have always loved the different stages of the process; wedging clay, throwing it on the wheel, assembling new forms at the leather hard stage, and carving it. Each stage has a set of rules and I’m motivated by these rules – understanding the material as well as I can, learning about it and improving on this knowledge.

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

I am inspired by material qualities and in particular contrasting textures. I enjoy creating surfaces that resemble organic forms, such as the underside of a mushroom or slate cliffs, and then contrasting these with clean forms that are thrown on the wheel. I like to create the feeling that the organic form is taking over the mechanical one; growing over, or collapsing it.

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

I always start with a form thrown on the wheel which I then cut and alter. These are usually crafted in porcelain which creates certain size constraints. Porcelain has to be treated carefully and the larger you throw it, the more issues can arise during the firing process.

I like to keep the thrown forms simple and related to function. They are always vessels of one sort or another, and I then build over these forms with many individual shards of clay. This part of the process is fairly quick, but smoothing and finishing each shard takes many hours. My pieces are fired only once as there is no glaze, which means they have to be fired slowly and evenly before they reach the top temperature of 1260 degrees.

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

I was pleased to have been selected for the European Prize for Contemporary Craft a few years ago.

5. What is your dream project?

I have aspirations of making a new collection in stoneware with various virtuous slips, that can be scaled up, and will include pieces for the wall.

To be kept informed about new collections from Olivia Walker, please email [email protected]

ALL PRODUCTS

 

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17 Products found

  1. Black Nest Tea Bowl II
    Black Nest Tea Bowl II
    Out of stock
    Olivia Walker
    £450
    Out of stock
  2. Green Wide Textured Bowl I
    Green Wide Textured Bowl I
    Olivia Walker
    £2,200
  3. White Tall Collapsed Bowl V
    White Tall Collapsed Bowl V
    Out of stock
    Olivia Walker
    £1,100
    Out of stock
  4. White Leaning Vessel II
    White Leaning Vessel II
    Olivia Walker
    £3,900
  5. Grey Tall Collapsed Bowl III
    Grey Tall Collapsed Bowl III
    Out of stock
    Olivia Walker
    £1,900
    Out of stock
  6. Black Nest Tea Bowl I
    Black Nest Tea Bowl I
    Out of stock
    Olivia Walker
    £500
    Out of stock
  7. Black Porcelain Bowl by Olivia Walker
    Black Porcelain Bowl
    Olivia Walker
    £1,400
  8. Light Grey Tall Collapsed Bowl
    Light Grey Tall Collapsed Bowl
    Olivia Walker
    £1,400
  9. White Tall Collapsed Bowl IV
    White Tall Collapsed Bowl IV
    Out of stock
    Olivia Walker
    £1,800
    Out of stock
  10. Grey Open Nest Tea Bowl
    Grey Open Nest Tea Bowl
    Out of stock
    Olivia Walker
    £450
    Out of stock
  11. Grey Nest Tea Bowl by Olivia Walker
    Grey Nest Tea Bowl
    Out of stock
    Olivia Walker
    £450
    Out of stock
  12. Black Porcelain Tea Bowl with Vertical Accretions III
    Black Porcelain Tea Bowl with Vertical Accretions III
    Out of stock
  13. Collapsed Landscape Bowl
    Collapsed Landscape Bowl
    Out of stock
    Olivia Walker
    £1,200
    Out of stock
  14. Wide Textured Bowl
    Wide Textured Bowl
    Out of stock
    Olivia Walker
    £2,200
    Out of stock
  15. Porcelain Leaning Vessel
    Porcelain Leaning Vessel
    Out of stock
    Olivia Walker
    £2,400
    Out of stock
  16. White Tall Collapsed Bowl III
    White Tall Collapsed Bowl III
    Out of stock
    Olivia Walker
    £1,800
    Out of stock
  17. Light Grey Tall Collapsed Bowl (Large)
    Light Grey Tall Collapsed Bowl (Large)
    Out of stock
    Olivia Walker
    £2,300
    Out of stock
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17 Products found