Isobel Salole

Originally from London, England, I have been a member of Gladstone Clayworks Co-operative for eight years. I enjoy the challenge of working with different clay bodies and surface techniques as I explore the seemingly endless possibilities of clay. My work is ever evolving, as I apply new techniques that I discover through workshops and by following the creative journeys of inspiring ceramic artists. I also draw inspiration from nature, architecture and the many manifestations of my life experiences.

My work is largely focused on hand-building and sculptural work. I find the slow, methodically creative manner of these methods particularly satisfying. Using hand-building techniques informed by an architectural style, I use rolled slabs of clay to create functional, 3-dimensional pieces such as planters, vases and boxes. Similarly, my sculptural pieces involve a hand-building process, but these works are focused on creating a visual narrative that invariably invites the viewer to consider their own interpretation of each piece.

Through my intentional choice of materials, form and surface design, I aim to develop pieces that have both visual and tactile intrigue. I primarily work with black clay, as I prefer its raw, silky feel. I also find the high contrast between its iron-ore appearance and colourful glazes particularly stunning. I have recently been experimenting with a broader use of decoration and surface texture to enhance my pieces, which has enabled me to draw on my previous experience with painting and various craft endeavors. People often feel compelled to follow the angular or curvilinear lines of each piece and touch the raised surface designs, which I create by using a painterly approach in applying both slips and glazes. As such, I achieve expressive and contemporary pieces that are both enticing and useful.

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