Amanda Rachel Toms (BA Hons)
Inspired by the Landscape
The dramatically changing and colourful cliffs, sea stacks and caves of the Isle of Wight coastline are a great source of inspiration. A mix of chalk, flint, marl clays, blue slipper and coloured sands combine to make a varied and interesting landscape. There are places along the coast where small rivers cut through the cliff and flow towards the sea creating deep Chines and depositing gravel onto the sands. On the cliff top rugged trees and wildflowers cling, shaped by the wind with roots exposed. All these elements translate so naturally into the language of ceramics.
Forms I enjoy making and return to frequently such as vases and bottles are thrown and altered to include areas of added movement. I am attracted to making asymmetric, oval or flattened shapes combined with textures that pick up on the eroded forms of the landscape.
Lidded Boxes which are imagined to hold small treasures are slab-built with bands of textured clay wrapped around, they have neatly locking lids and incorporate elements such as knots and fish. Small cylinder vases with impressed leaves are made from soft slabs . These little vases are perfect for a single stem or small collection of flowers gathered from the garden.
Completed work is glaze fired in my electric kiln. My work is mostly made of earthenware clays, slips, grogs, sand, glass with a few naturally found materials. Occasionally porcelain, stoneware and higher temperature firings are used. I currently live in Hertfordshire, making pottery and teaching. I frequently visit the Isle of Wight where my ceramics are regularly shown at Yarmouth Gallery on the Isle of Wight
The boats tell a story, of being in the elements, weathering storms, being pulled over pebbles up the beach, the layered surfaces are created overtime and take on a colourful patina. Wrecks begin to develop the appearance of a discovered ancient artefact.