Carys Boyle Ceramics

Wales

About Carys

Carys is a Ceramic Artist based in her garden studio in Aberystwyth creating a sculptural range of porcelain pieces that exploit the qualities of high fired clay. She also creates a commercial range of personalised ceramic gifts for all occasions.

She takes her design inspiration from the beautiful Cardigan bay coast, walking the beaches photographing, sketching and finding objects of interest to use as a starting point for her designs. She is particularly drawn to the the smooth contours of the sand and pebbles along with the shimmering sea and coastal landscapes to create minimal pieces with the emphasis on form rather than colour. The main material used is porcelain and she employs a variety of traditional methods including slip casting and hand building, but also innovates to push the boundaries of these techniques. She has created a range of sculptural lamps, tea light holders, vases and jewellery that she sells in Art Galleries and boutique shops around the UK. She has also worked with
the V&A and Harrods to design and create exclusive ranges for them and sells her work online through a website called ‘Not on the High Street.com’

The Making Process

My work is created using a variety of ceramic techniques using porcelain in solid form and liquid form. I’m particularly drawn to porcelain due to its translucent qualities. When it is high fired in the kiln it is almost glasslike and you can see light through it and I try to make the porcelain as thin as possible to exploit this quality. It looks fragile but is as hard as stone.

Whilst using a method called slip casting (when the porcelain is turned into liquid form and poured into plaster moulds) I discovered that the small splashes and trickles of this liquid clay created delicate and unusual patterns on the plaster and decided to develop this into my own technique which I have been improving and experimenting for years.

When I read about the Cambrian Wool Challenge I thought it would be exciting to try and develop this technique further by incorporating wool. I felt that wool and porcelain are both beautiful natural materials with contrasting qualities.

My initial idea was to dip the wool in the porcelain and form into shapes using a plaster mould. I knew that the wool would burn away during firing but the porcelain that coated it would remain after the firing, in the form of the yarn. I was not happy with the first attempts as the yarn has flattened against the mould and didn’t clearly show the shape of the yarn so after further experimentation found that if I made papier mache moulds around balloons I could work the porcelain dipped yarn around these moulds to create pieces. The wool and paper burnt away during the firing to reveal the final pieces. I then added unfired yarn to these for the final finishing touch.