Pippa Davismoon’s art practice focuses on drawing onto ceramic vessels, paper or canvas. Having worked in teaching and social work, she is fascinated by courage and tenacity and wants her art to bolster emotional strength and joy in life, with all its possibilities. In her ceramics she is currently making validation vessels, combining image with shape, an exploration of identity. Her work focuses on emotional growth and a celebration of whatever it is we have.
She creates hand built slab vessels with cobalt oxide and underglazes decorating the work with pencils, sgraffito or a paintbrush.
Ideas and inspiration come from a variety of places including the works of Howard Hodgkin, Chaim Soutine and Quentin Blake; sketching outdoors and from her imagination; and working with the materials directly. Clay is such an enticing material and from the first time she worked with porcelain she felt at home.
Pippa is an artist based in London. She gained a distinction in glass at Central St Martins London, having originally graduated from University of Liverpool with a BA in Architecture. She is currently working in ceramics from a shared studio in North London, Petr Weigel Studios.
'Woman on the Move', terracotta clay and cobalt, h. 17 cm
What first drew you to clay?
"Clay came to me in a rather roundabout way, I was making large glass gravity vessels and using moulds made of plaster and realised ceramic moulds would be more sustainable. So I learned how to slip cast them and then began a project to make these emotionally charged colourful vessels. Realising over a period of time how much I loved clay, I made hand built clay moulds next for a project, using them to cast glass vaginas. In this project I decided to make a women’s validation game and needed small counters with text on them, after much sample making, clay became the obvious choice. Working at Turning Earth Hoxton to make these, immersed me in the clay world and I was hooked. My themes in my art are still to explore emotions and resilience and to make objects that focus attention on strong women and empowerment."
What’s your favourite reaction that you can create?
"I absolutely love working with Cobalt Oxide. The intensity of the blue and the variety of tones and ways to use it excites me still. I particularly enjoy applying it to porcelain - it feels rather like working with ink on paper until fired in the kiln and it’s permanent. My favourite approach is to fire the porcelain and cobalt without a glaze so that the deep blue shines glossy and fierce."
Tell us more about your recent series, when did you begin this and how has it developed?
"Exploring ideas of identity and strength I began a series of vessels showing women in the world as part of a wider exploration of how women feel validated. Some of the images are inspired by Vanessa Bell’s paintings and in particular ‘The Conversation’. The solidity of the women she portrays has inspired me to make an armada of vessels featuring women."
"During this last 12 months I have experimented with new clay, new marks and new slips, resulting in a variety of forms and imagery in ceramic. Currently, I am making validation vessels, combining image with shape, (in painting the work is with images of people in the everyday) - an exploration of identity. My work focuses on emotional growth and a celebration of all that we are. The ceramic vessels incorporate people going about ordinary tasks. Working with ceramic vessels on plinths makes references to both the domestic and the trophy."