Artwork for Damian keefe
Large salt-glazed jug with ash glaze. Ht. 24.5cm
Close up of my new optical blue glaze
Large fruit bowl in a traditional Chinese colour combination - brown, green and white/cream called sancai
Small Vase with a new optical blue glaze with white streaks and small white floating crystals
Wood-Fired, Salt-glazed mug with local clay slip and incised and applied design
Salt-glazed mug with Lovat green slip and glass inclusions in the clay
A new purple glaze which I developed for my wife and my sister who both love the colour purple
Circle designs in iron on a claire-de-lune blue glaze
I make domestic stoneware pottery. I aim to make things of beauty and utility to enrich our experience of day-to-day life. If you have beautiful crockery even washing-up can be pleasurable. I particularly enjoy making drinking vessels as the relationship between the pot and the drinker is so intimate. Almost everyone I know has a favourite mug which they use every day and sometimes its one of mine. I make mugs in a range of shapes and a range of glazes hoping that there is something to suit everyone's taste.
My background as a biologist has imbued me with a love of all things natural and I try to let the natural origins of the materials I use show through in my work. I also try to incorporate as many self-collected materials as possible. Nature’s beauty involves elements of randomness and asymmetry and I accept these characteristics in the things I make, not attempting to achieve the precision of an engineered artefact but the wholesomeness of a natural product.
Being an artist in clay gives me purpose and joy and endless intellectual interest and the satisfaction of giving others pleasure in the form of objects they like and can use in their daily lives.
Damian Keefe Pottery
I have contributed to the setting up of the CUP community ceramics studio in Hereford (https://www.cupceramics.com) where I currently do a limited amount of teaching, some glaze recipe development and provide ceramic advice to the management and members.
I did all the sciences and maths at O-level and further chemistry, biology and maths at A-level. This gave me the background to be able to understand the technicalities of ceramic firing and glaze formulation. At university, where I first studied for a degree, and then did a PhD in, biology I learned the techniques of technical research, skills that are also applicable to solving ceramic problems and formulating or modifying glaze recipes. I specialised in Botany and that subject currently provides the inspiration for most of the designs I use on my pots.
While doing my PhD I did a weekly evening class in Pottery which I had never had any acquaintance with before. I was hooked. The two evening class teachers lived a long way from the studio where the classes were taught so it was a chore for them to fire the kiln. I lived minutes away so volunteered to do the firings, and was taught how to pack and operate a kiln. I had a lot of spare time in the summer when the university was on holiday so I also volunteered to recycle the scrap clay, not only learning another skill but also gaining access to the studio full time. I practised throwing every day for several weeks. "Practice makes perfect" they say, but, 40 years later, I am still practising.
FOUND Gallery, Brecon. 21/10/2020 -28/02/2021
CUP Ceramics Christmas Market 2020
CUP Ceramics, Unit 10, Foley Trading Estate, Hereford HR1 2SF https://www.cupceramics.com/coffee-house-gallery
My own gallery at home. Open by request on 01981 590352.