Louisa Taylor was Ceramics Resident at the V&A, January–June 2012.
Louisa Taylor took a BA (hons) degree in Three-Dimensional Design: Ceramics, at Bath Spa University (2000-2003) and then spent a year working as a production potter in rural Lincolnshire. This was followed by a Masters degree in Ceramics and Glass at the Royal College of Art, London (2004-2006).
Louisa set up her ceramic business in October 2006 and received a Development Award from the Crafts Council in January 2007. Her studio is based in Deptford, south-east London where she produces her tableware range for shops, galleries and collectors in the UK and internationally.
In 2009, Louisa won the “Batch Production Award” at the prestigious British Ceramics Biennial, Stoke on Trent. This was followed by: “The Evening Standard Homes & Property Best Domestic Product 2009” and “UK Trade & Investment Silver Award for Innovation, Creativity and Potential to Export”. Her work was also selected to exhibit at the major international show “Talente” Ambiente fair Munich, Germany in 2010. Other recent exhibitions include, “Handmade” at Fortnum and Mason London, “Fiesta – Pots of Colour” Leach Pottery St Ives and “Inspired by York” a solo show at the New School House Gallery York, working in collaboration with the collections at York museum.
Alongside making her work, Louisa is a Lecturer on the BA(hons)/Mdes 3D Design and Craft course at the University of Brighton and she is a professional member of the Crafts Potters Association and Contemporary Applied Arts, London. In her practice, Louisa consults as a freelance designer for industry, including concept/form development and colour consultancy. Clients include J Wedgwood and American online home-ware company, Teroforma. Louisa is also the author of “Ceramics: Tools and Techniques for the Contemporary Maker”, published by Jacqui Small Publishing (2011).
The source of inspiration for my work stems from museum collections of 18th-century porcelain wares. I am fascinated by the rituals of dining and the role of tableware in contemporary dining. I create objects for the table that aim not to prescribe specific functions but instead encourage sharing and relaxed eating; I like the suggestion of how eating meals together can build stronger bonds/relationships within the family unit.
Each piece is thrown in porcelain on the pottery wheel and freely assembled. I am interested in the relationship between surface and form. I take my inspiration for the subtle colour palette from hand painted decoration on historical tureens. I deconstruct each individual colour and match it with glaze. I use the content of the decoration to inform the overall composition of a piece; for example the height of the vessel correlates to the proportion of the colour in the pattern, jug forms suggest birds or figurative details. The intention is create works that as a whole, describe the pattern from where they derived.
Research interests at the V&A
During my residency at the V&A I aim to research 17th-19th-century porcelain collections and learn more about specific functions of objects. I would like to further my research into the historical context so I have a better understanding of why these objects existed and how they might have been used. My main focus of the residency at the V&A is to develop new forms and strengthen my collections. In recent months I have invested a lot of time in my glaze/research and feel I am more advanced with this. However I will continue to deconstruct hand-painted imagery on the historical wares as this is still an area of interest, in particular use the V&A collections to research condiment sets, centre pieces and grouped objects. I plan to experiment with new throwing construction methods; cutting, joining, lidded vessels and produce larger scale pieces. I would like to use the residency to explore ways of moving away from batch production to one-off pieces (but still rooted in tableware).
Read about the Residency on Louisa's blog
Supported by John & Catherine Armitage and William & Valerie Brake