Studying in the then renowned Surrey Adult Education service of the 1990s and 2000s gave me a firm grounding in ceramics. Other than that I am largely self-taught, and owe much to the generosity of established ceramic artists – in particular Tim Pearce.
Re-locating to North Yorkshire in 2010, I have continued to develop my practice, specialising in sculptural handbuilding, particularly coiling. My base clay is generally a Potterycrafts recipe, which contains a red clay from Derbyshire and buff fireclays from Shropshire. I also use a highly textured grey clay, Rokk, sourced from Potclays in Stoke-on-Trent, who import it from Barcelona.
Proceeds from sales go to the Yorkshire-based charity IDAS, which supports those affected by domestic violence.
Joan Eardley (1921-1963) – her wild seascapes of the North-East of Scotland coast.
Judith Glover (2021) Seascape1, H: 29 cms
Handbuilt (coiled), stoneware, unglazed, image by Julie Edwardson
This coiled piece incorporates strata of different clays in the base clay. The interior of the work shows the reverse of the strata and is as significant to me as the exterior. This series makes me think also of Turner’s seascapes, such as his 1840 painting Seascape with Storm Coming On and his 1828 Seascape.
And also inspired by…
Georgio Morandi (1890-1964) – his quiet still life paintings of tall vessels arranged in groups.
Judith Glover (2017) Two Morandi-inspired Trios, H:28-33 cms
Handbuilt (coiled), stoneware, unglazed, image by Carol Clarke
Each of the Trio pieces is finished with coloured slip in a narrow pallet of tones: grey, charcoal, cream and spice. These are pared-down forms, possibly reflecting the human torso, although they are not age or gender-specific. The interiors are in a contrasting tone of slip. These trios feature on the Shop page: potential buyers are encouraged to drop me a note via the Contact page, as I like to encourage them to select their own trio, bearing in mind where the pieces are to be placed in their home, office and so forth.
My latest pieces, developed in the pandemic lockdowns, reflect land, shore and sea; some are inspired by the landscape of North Yorkshire, and some by the seascapes of Joan Eardley. They are handbuilt (coiled) and use either the Derbyshire/Shropshire mix or the textured grey clay ‘Rokk’, incorporating clays of different tones and textures. This is technically challenging as the shrinkage rates of the different clays vary, both at the drying and firing stages. This means that the different clays could pull against one another, creating splits and cracks. My solution is to build the work very slowly, adding only one or two coils every two days or so, and to dry it even more slowly before firing.
Each of these seascape/landscape pieces has a flash of blue, varying from quite small to prominent. Blue for me became a colour of optimism and hope during the global pandemic years. An example is below: detail of Seascape12 (image by Gareth Buddo @ Furmoto). Several of these pieces are on my Shop page, but as many are exhibited until February 2023 at Yore Mill Gallery, Upper Aysgarth Falls, North Yorkshire, potential buyers can go to the Yore Mill Gallery’s website.
A recent approach mid-2022 is rather unorthodox: inspired by the landscape of North Yorkshire, I constructed a coiled piece from the Derbyshire/Shropshire mix, and before firing put an impressionistic series of cloud-like marks on the surface in coloured slip in tones of charcoal, cream and spice. I then fired the piece to stoneware temperature and (this is the unorthodox bit) marked the surface with watercolours and pastels before sealing the piece with a water-based matt varnish. Lines1, below, was the result. At the bottom of this page three images show Face A, Face B and a side view of Lines1, images by Gareth Buddo.
Judith Glover (2022) Lines1, H: 38 cms
Stoneware, watercolours, pastels, water-based varnish, image by Gareth Buddo@Furmoto
The piece shown below, Path, also uses this technique. For some time after the piece was finished I puzzled over why I had felt drawn to incorporating an upwardly curving line when building the piece. It certainly defied any sense of perspective. Then in September 2022 I re-visited the renowned hay meadows in Swaledale’s Muker and I felt a sense of recognition. Who knows why or when or how the imagination works, but it’s possible, as I discuss in No 2 Blog, that memories sit in the back burner until something happens that brings them back in an active way.
The ominous bird-shape at the base was a link with a similar shape in a watercolour entitled ‘Animated Shore’ by Lesley Birch (2020), which I acquired from her in lockdown.
Judith Glover (2022) Path, H: 32 cms, handbuilt (coiled)
The Muker path takes walkers in single file through the valuable meadow grass on either side. It is clear that straying from the narrow and perhaps incongruously paved path is not expected.
Muker Meadows, Swaledale, North Yorkshire: upland wildflower hay meadows, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Image by Judith Glover, September 2022