In the studio of ceramic artist Tina Vlassopulos
|My studio is housed in a small room at the top of my house in London with a lovely view of our street’s communal garden. The joyful sound of children playing floats up from the garden when the weather is bright whilst the smell of freshly cut grass is a wonderful thing when you live in a busy city.
|The most difficult part of my creative process is coming up with ideas. I find that going to live performances, opera, contemporary dance and ballet frees up my imagination. Living in London is very inspiring and stimulating as there are so many art exhibitions and museums to visit.
Every piece I make has it’s own story to tell…
One of the projects I enjoy working on is called ‘Silent Sounds’ in which I explore the theme of silence, sound and music. I try to imagine how a particular sound would look like in physical form. It is an intriguing and amusing notion as it is so contradictory: sound is fleeting and fluid and clay is silent and permanent.
Coil, 31cm H x 10cm W
I was inspired to make this piece after I visited the rainforest in Peru and saw the amazing vines and creepers that grow there with their tendrils twirling and winding around each other - all seeking to reach the sunlight.
Fin, 32cm H x 12cm W
Springtime: growth, movement, a light breeze.
|I sketch my ideas and make small maquettes out of clay to try out different shapes before launching into the final piece. Then I handbuild each piece out of stoneware clay, scrape it down with metal kidneys, smooth it with wooden ribs and finally burnish the surface with metal spoons. I try to instill a sense of fun and playfulness into my work.
|Burnishing compresses the surface of the pot giving it a lovely tactile surface with a very faint sheen. This is the most time-consuming and delicate part of the making process as I have to burnish the whole piece about 4 times while it’s drying over 4 consecutive days. It‘s very fragile at this point of the making process so I have to take care not to break it! It takes me about 3 - 8 days to make each piece depending on how large it is.
I fire my work to 940C in an electric kiln.
|Although my work is made with an eye to the possibility of function, this is balanced by a sculptural context to the forms and the concept of container carries only an aesthetic & symbolic value.
|Find my work on Neo Galleri - the net gallery or the art gallery in Old Stavanger
After graduating from Bristol Polytechnic in 1977 with a BA (Hons) in Ceramics, I set up my studio in London. Since then I have shown my work in many exhibitions both in the UK and abroad and have won several international awards.
In 2014 my work was included in the exhibition “Vessels:
The Spirit of Modern British Ceramics” at Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art in Japan and in 2017 at the Keramiekmuseum Princessehof in the Netherlands in an exhibition entitled “Sexy Ceramics”.
The most recent article about my work has been published in the Sept/Oct 2020 issue of CeramicReview (Issue 305).