Artist StatementUsing throwing and hand-building techniques I make small bottles, cups, bowls and lidded vessels. Influenced by Japanese Inro from the collections in the Victoria and Albert Museum, I attach coloured silk threads and porcelain beads. I want to explore the intimacy with certain objects and the relationship with the past that they evoke. In a world of throwaway products it is precious to find something that stands the test of time. My hands shape and mould the clay and one day another’s hands will hold and caress the piece. Hopefully there will be some connection between the maker and the beholder. I believe we are drawn to certain objects not just for their aesthetic beauty but the energy contained within them; this is what drives my practice.
What inspires you in your art?
A multitude of things from Japanese tea ceremonies to Haiku poetry, but essentially the material that is clay inspires me. I am learning every day the quality, limits and possibilities of this amazing material. How it allows you to control and shape it. How it allows you to express yourself through it.
What medium do you work in?
What are you looking forward to at Make it Up North?
Having never exhibited in York before I am really looking forward to showcasing what I do, to a new audience. York is a beautiful city, and a great setting for the Make it Up North event. I will be catching up with some great makers and friends too.
What work are you showing at the event?
I will be showcasing some new larger pieces of work as well as my thrown porcelain cups, bottles, trays and lidded vessels.
Have you any exciting news to share?
I was recently interviewed for Cheshire Life Magazine. You will be able to read the article in the October issue or look out for a copy of it on my website; www.sarahmalone.co.uk
If you could sit in a room with any artist….who would it be and what would you ask them?
I wouldn’t have a specific question for him but I would love to meet sculptor Antony Gormley and thank him for the profound experience I had when looking at his ‘Field for the British Isles’ in the Tate Gallery, Liverpool. It is a very moving piece. Essentially it is a mass of ceramic figurines jammed tight in a room. Each made by a different set of hands, each with its own personality, each with its own set of hollowed out eyes that almost stare into your soul. I spent a while looking at this piece, my emotions constantly changing. I was looking at it, it was looking at me and it seemed the world and everything in the world was held in that moment of intimacy. This piece of work gave me the realisation that you can connect with people through the material of clay and you can affect or move them. This is most exciting!
Name your favourite quote/or philosophy to life?
“The hands that have worked to make things eventually discover ‘creativity’ and the created objects each with special characteristics bring joy to our senses there in front of our eyes we do not view a manufactured item but an object made by the skilled hands of an artist. It gives aesthetic joy to the beholder and also imports the realisation that one is gazing upon a true thing” - Tsune Sugimura (taken from the book ‘Contemporary Netsuke’ by Miriam Kinsey).
If money was no object what piece of work would you create?
I currently create porcelain butterfly wall installations; I would love to make one where I coat the butterfly with pure gold lustre. Visually, I think it would be stunning. However, it would be extremely expensive!