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Kitty Hall
Insta: @k1ttyhall

This week is a special one! It even included a studio visit! Kitty is my sister and works in quite an opposite way to me, she carefully and patiently makes moulds of bottles that she has selected for a particular feature. In the past I have bought her bottles I think she might like to work from and she has politely refused. Her ceramics are functional but they could equally be seen as small sculptures. They have a tactile quality impacted by the colours that she spends large amounts of time testing and deciding on. I own a fair few and they bring me a lot of joy! 

Your work has a very tactile quality to it. Do you think that is something you’re consciously encouraging when you make your work?


When I choose something to cast, whether it is a found object like an plastic bottle, or an object I have made myself, like my corrugated cardboard vessels, my main focus is on textural qualities. This might be the slight change in surface height made by the label on a bottle, or the indents on the glass or plastic made during manufacturing or personal use. When I cast I mix stains into my clay instead of into a glaze, I think this helps enhance the focus on the tactile nature of the objects.  I try to remove the colour and noise of the original objects, but not all of it, so that a sort of ghost of the object is left. One thing I particularly like about casting found objects like plastic bottles, is that it picks up the little details, like the recycling symbol on the bottom, or a weird code or number.

Can you tell us more about your process? Thats something I feel is less spoken about when you make functional objects rather than sculptural forms. Would you agree? 

I think when you learn a craft, especially ceramics, a lot of what you do has to be process driven. You are trying to work with the clay and see what you can make it do. I do a lot of casting , I make plaster molds and also one-off material molds and slip cast using porcelain slip. I actually think with ceramics people seem very interested in how  things are made. A key part of the allure of ceramics is the mystery of the process, whether it is a very simple looking object, or a complicated one, both were made using a specific technique and a real craft has gone into them. I like that you raise the point of ‘function’ and ‘sculptural’ because in my mind a lot of my work is not meant to be ‘functional’ but as with a lot of things, people find a use for something, making a vessel, however big or small, someone will always find something to put in it, and give it a function. I guess I like some things to have a function whether it is to hold a bar of soap or a little flower, it is interesting to repurpose an object which you might find in a bin or see in the street and suddenly see it in your home or in a gallery made of a different material. 

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