Quietly and with a sense of mystery, the finely crafted surfaces of Victoria Meadow’s ceramics reveal their reference to the landscape. Subtle, low-key colour that hints at its origins, and a minimal quality that on close inspection reveals numerous intricacies of line and surface, characterise these vessels.
Meadows begins by moulding a coil pot; drawing particular attention to how her hands can manipulate the clay. After careful sculpting to an almost ultra-smooth finish, the only trace of human presence she deliberately leaves behind, are the hints of thumb print marks and the calculated eroded edges. Following this initial working stage, an ultra-fine slip; Terra Sigilatta is applied prior to a biscuit firing.
The jars, vases and pots are then put inside a larger vessel where they are packed with organic, combustible material before beginning the unusual process of pit, barrel or smoke firing.
The result of this firing creates surfaces that have the grooves and façades of the organic material imprinted on them. Consequential colourations from the foliage serve as a constant reminder of seasonal changes; as textures and colours transform throughout the year, so does the colour of her ceramics. From rich, dark Autumnal browns to the pinks and greens of Spring. A unique pattern and colour become inscribed on the surface – never to be replicated.
The legacy of these works is their calm understated nature, at times an almost minimal purity, which allows space for the viewer to enter into the work with their own experience, and to make their own connections.
Having been introduced to clay whilst studying Art and Design at Foundation level in Cheltenham, Victoria went on to graduate with a degree in Ceramics in 1996. She began working as a pottery technician, and shortly afterwards became a teacher of ceramics. Now working from her studio in the Cotswolds, Victoria is devoted to her career as a ceramicist. In 2021, she was shortlisted for the RWA Annual Academy Award.