Crystalline glazes and Raku ware, the ceramic art of Rose Bates
While visiting the Oxmarket Centre of Arts in Chichester back in April, ingénu/e magazine’s attention was caught by the vibrant colours and liquid tones of the ceramic art of Rose Bates, we wanted to know more…
What attracted you to ceramic art and, in particular, raku?
My parents were avid collectors of ceramics, we spent many hours poring over historian Geoffrey Godden’s `Encyclopedia of British pottery and porcelain marks’. During those early years of the 60s I began to appreciate the skills involved in creating ceramics of beauty. It wasn’t until approximately 1992 that I was able to indulge in setting up my own studio and find good courses to follow, initially A-level art and design and then 4 years studying a City and Guilds ceramics diploma course in Sussex. All aspects of the craft were covered, but it was Raku (happiness by chance) with its unpredictability and excitement of fast, fire-driven techniques outdoors, that captivated me. Not to mention the beautiful finishes of lustre glazes and sharp black and white etched surfaces.
Which element of the process engages you the most?
One of the aspects of City and Guilds was to create a personal glaze, I chose a crystalline formula and since then have become passionate with the art. Crystalline glazes are again unpredictable, the right ingredients, kiln temperature management, a truly tricky combination to gain the unique frost and flower patterns in glorious colours onto the surfaces of bowls and vases.
Most artists draw their inspiration from something – their surroundings perhaps, or their experiences – what inspires you?
What inspires me? I have to say colour and the human form in all guises. Raku and crystalline glazes offer endless variations to decorate torsos and porcelain sculptures. The many oxides used in glazes provide a good spectrum of colour range. There are always endless combinations to try. My other interest and love is for animals which I model from the beginning and then use Raku firing (black and white) to emphasise pattern and texture.
Do you have any particular art ‘heroes’?
There are a number of living artists that inspire me, Sun Chao, Taiwan’s foremost crystalline ceramicist who manages to `paint’ tranquil natural scenes onto his pots. Indian born British sculptor Anish Kapoor, and installation artist Cornelia Parker, I was fortunate to get to see her Cold Dark Matter piece (Turner Prize exhibition) in London. Of course Auguste Rodin is on a pedestal!
Any current projects on the go?
Current projects are larger figurative studies, experimenting with new crystalline colourways and creating more animal studies for Raku.
What does the future hold for Rose Bates, ceramic artist?
This year will be concentrating on showing in new galleries (several in the pipeline) in the South, exhibitions, holding classes for adults, and perhaps looking into arranging further mixed media exhibitions myself, after the successful two-week run at the Oxmarket Centre of Arts in Chichester.
We wish Rose every success with her future adventures in ceramics.
To contact Rose call on 02392 551077 or email email@example.com