R A C H E L   G R I M S H A W

My work is about the clay; its pliable, immediate qualities. Like a photograph capturing a ‘frozen moment’ this material when fired fixes forever a gesture, an impression. I work in both Parian porcelain and, separately, in heavily grogged stoneware. All my work is hand built solid and the marks are created by impressing found objects, their origins occasionally hinted at.

The heavily grogged stoneware enables me to work larger and in a more architectural manner. These forms allude to the built environment but deliberately avoid explicit references. In pushing the material to its limits my wish is to explore three dimensional shapes and movement while retaining a real sense of the qualities of clay. How the light interacts with a piece is an important factor in the presentation of the work. Although my work has no prescribed narrative, there is a meditative quality. I sometimes work in pairs or small series, developing ideas between pieces as in a dialogue with mark making creating the link between the pieces.

The clay body is coloured when wet using various percentages of body stains and oxides and then fired over several days in an electric kiln.

“Rachel Grimshaw, whose tactile, squashed and manipulated block-like forms stood out because of her sensitive understanding of detail within a deceptively simple shape” Alex McErlain reviewing ‘Urban Traces’ in Ceramic Review.

Born in 1967, my ceramics studio is based in my hometown of Wigan in the North of England. I attended St Helens School of Art followed by Manchester Polytechnic (3-dimensional design course, specializing in interior design), graduating with a BA Hons, 1st Class in 1990. I have practiced as an Interior Designer within an architectural practice since 1990. In 2009 I gained a Distinction in MA in Ceramics (tutor David Binns) at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston. Professional Membership of the CPA was granted in 2012. Exhibitions have been held widely in the UK including at Galerie Besson, London, The Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool, The Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Contemporary Ceramics, London. I look forward to exhibiting at Ceramics Art London (‘CAL’) in 2021 (postponed from March 2020). 

Exhibitions beyond the UK have been held in Australia, Spain, Hungary, Romania, Latvia and Japan where I gained an ‘Honourable Mention’ at MINO in 2014 and awarded ‘The Land of Pottery’ 2nd prize at the Mallorcan Ceramics Biennale. My work is in several international collections, including Mino and Kecskemet in Hungary. 

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