CERAMICIST Barry Stedman is completing a hat trick of exhibitions at Pyramid Gallery, Stonegate, York.
On show are 12 distinctive constructed terracotta vessels, complemented by a few from the gallery’s own collection.
“All are available for purchase from our website, pyramidgallery.com, but we would not want to distract anyone from coming to the gallery to see them on display,” says owner Terry Brett. “The gallery is open with restrictions to one or two groups at a time.”
Stedman’s studio in his Buckinghamshire home is “the place where clay, colour and ideas come together”. “My intention is to use the vessel forms that I make, loosely thrown and altered on the wheel or constructed from slabs, as vehicles to explore contrasts of light and shade, hard and soft, warm and cool, rough and smooth,” he says.
“I’m interested in the way edges meet and overlap and the rhythms, tensions and harmonies created between colours, spaces, lines and textures in form and surface.”
Stedman tends to work in series influenced by natural phenomena, places and emotions, developing ideas from drawing, painting and previous firings. “I like the warmth and brightness of earthenware, using slip, oxides and underglazes over a red clay body,” he says.
“The surfaces are created in layers, firing in between, using thin washes, wiping back and building up rich zones of colour. I then glaze chosen areas to add further depth, tone and texture.”
Stedman came to ceramics later in life after a career in retail. “I’ve always been interested in drawing and mark making and when I discovered ceramics at evening class, I was seduced by the possibilities of clay as a way of expressing abstract ideas of colour and form,” he says.
“I completed an HND in 3D design at Barnfield College, Luton, and was lucky enough to be accepted on the ceramics degree course at the University of Westminster in Harrow. It’s here that I was encouraged to really explore and develop my ideas.
“I now have work in various galleries in the UK and abroad and have taken part in many ceramic shows and exhibitions, and I’ve done some teaching and technician work too.”
Barry Stedman: Ceramic Vessels will run until the end of October and is open from 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday.