Claire Partington


1st Place recipient

Power, status, charachter types and the retelling and misinterpretation of stories is at the centre of my work.

The aesthetic inspiration is drawn largely from European Applied Art and Design styles from the 1600’s onwards. Underpinning this is the long European tradition of appropriation and reinterpretation or misinterpretation of “exotic” styles that can be seen in National Collections across Europe. I like the idea of getting it slightly wrong and the bluffing and “cobbling together” of styles that has resulted in some fantastic historical objects.

I started making sprigged vessels inspired by the salt glazed “bartmann” figurative bottles, but with the look of tin glazed earthenware from the 1600’s. This evolved into the fully figurative vessels I’m making at present, starting with the bottle shaped wide court mantua dresses of the 1700's. The figures have head “stoppers” to reflect the origin from the figurative bottle and sometimes an additional head stopper to illustrate the metamorphosis of a character.

My work has a very familiar feel to it due to the historical and literary references, even though it has it’s own very definite aesthetic. The pieces are all meticulously hand built, using traditional ceramic techniques. They are coil built, then the shape is refined before adding surface decorations of sprigged (press molded) ephemera and modern computer generated enamel decoration over the glaze.

  • Boy with his dog

    Boy with his dog 23.6x10.4x8.6" 2017

    Figure of boy with Doberman

  • Daughters of the Monstrous Women

    Daughters of the Monstrous Women 31.5x18x10" 2015

    Figures based on the myths of Albion

  • Forest fruits - wolf

    Forest fruits - wolf 25.5x15.3x7.87" 2017

    Majolica figure with interchanageble heads

  • Exotic Pets

    Exotic Pets 33.8" x 23.6" x 10.6cm 2017

    Woman with monkey and birds.

  • White Hart

    White Hart 33.8" x 10.5" x 8.7" 2017

    Stag and hart and interchangeable youth head

  • Lilith

    Lilith 31.1" x 9" x 11" 2017

    Figure based on Venus by Lucas Cranach the Elder.

  • Tatianas Dream

    Tatianas Dream 26" x 13.4" x 10.6cm 2017

    Woman and bear with interchangeable heads.

  • Urban Planner

    Urban Planner 35" x 9.4" x 11.8" 2014

    Figure based on the Arnolfini Wedding

  • Venus

    Venus 28.1" x 15.3" x 7.9" 2015

    Contemporary London Venus.