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Studio Holder Spotlight - Josie Warshaw

Next in our series is ceramicist Josie Warshaw, in Studio 43.

Please describe your work.

I call myself a ceramicist because some of my work is functional and some pieces are decorative. Collectively, my work acts as markers on my “timeline” which aims to capture significant phases or moments in my life in clay either through surface decoration or through the objects themselves. I often inject an air of comicality into my work whilst aiming to reveal personal meaning and memories that are their catalyst for making. How the viewer or new owner reads my work is open to personal interpretation and appreciation.

What’s your favourite piece of your own work and why?

My favourite piece is a large red dish I made called "Travel Dreaming" - it hangs in my home .pride of place. I would never sell it. It has London houses and eucalyptus leaves on it (you can see it on my web site or Instagram) This piece marks a time when I was young and in love thinking/dreaming that I might leave London to move to Australia with my new partner. It was made in psychological preparation for the move. Its colours and title refer to aboriginal art work.

What do you listen to when you’re working in the studios?

I’m a bit of a Radio 4 junkie - I love "Women's Hour" , gardening or rambling programmes and current affairs. I also have a CD collection and listen to my own music.

What are you going to be showing off during Open Studios Weekend?

Firstly I want to tell people about my clay making courses which I run in my studio. Then my work or my “clay timeline" …lots of flying birds which represent the freedom I feel when riding my bike. The raku birds represent all the people I meet when teaching cycling or ceramics. They flit in and out of my life so for me birds represent the spirits of people who are pass through my, and the, world.

Who else in the studios should people go and see, aside from you?

Having been making birds for some time I admire the way Cosmin Ciorfidel’s (Studio 9) fish are developing …I go and look at them every open studios to see their progress.

I also love Naori Priestly’s (Studio 25) work for the unexpected which never fails to entertain and challenge my thinking. I also like the calm gallery atmosphere and the artworks in Anastasia Lewis’s studio (Studio 24) and Nigel Atkinson's studio (Studio 46).

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