Polly Fern is a freelance illustrator, ceramist and canary keeper based in Norwich. Having graduated from Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) a few years back we are delighted to be showcasing her work this year at our Houghton Hall exhibition. Here is an extract of an article published in Ceramic Review:
Everything I make is hand built. I like the feel and act of a hand-drawn line in my ceramic work, so I see hand-building everything as important. I share a studio space with other ceramists and it’s just down the road from where I live. I have my own kiln, but sadly no-where to house it, so I’m hoping to build an outside studio in the near future. I hand build everything, predominantly working with earthenware and using slips and underglazes. A lot of chromium and cobalt oxide is used throughout my ceramic work; I love the natural pigmentation of the oxides and its historical roots in pottery.
I hand paint all of my decoration. I paper-cut a lot of my illustrations and then use the paper resist technique on raw ceramic, painting upon them with slip and peeling away the paper, then working back into the resist shapes with glazes and oxide details. It’s quite a labour-intensive process; with each piece I make taking a lot of time. But the process is important to my work and I wouldn’t enjoy it as much if it were straightforward.
©Ceramic Review 2017 ©Polly Fern