Artwork for Ben Keenan
General purpose bowls
The majority of my work is thrown functional stoneware fired in reduction using gas and wood and decorated with a variety of slips, glazes and oxides. Commercial clay bodies are mixed with materials I processes myself such as granite and clay dug locally as well as from further afield.
Wood ash collected from the house stove is frequently used as an ingredient in my glazes. This and an inclination to experiment, leads to unpredictable and wide ranging results which in turn inspires further cycles of experimentation.
I find inspiration from pottery traditions within the UK and beyond as well as other artists and craftspeople from past and present and the materials available to me.
Being an artist means mastering skills and discovering tools which allow me to direct my imagination into physical, clay based forms. At the same time, being receptive to the qualities of the materials and allowing them to further fuel my imagination.
My name is Ben Keenan and I am a studio potter primarily making one-off pieces and small batches of tableware.
I began throwing 20 years ago during a summer course at Ridge Pottery in Somerset. The course culminated in a wood firing with a keenly anticipated but apprehensive kiln opening the following day. From that moment I was hooked and continued to develop my pottery skills through a variety of carefully selected short courses and lots of practise in my small studio space located in Garway, Herefordshire.