Ceramicist opens her studio

Image%2031WrenDennis%20Farrell%20Light%2c%20Line%2c%20%20Landscape%20%2861x19x39%20ht%20cm%29This month you have the chance to leave the traffic noise of Derby’s busy London Road behind you as you step into the oasis that is the home, garden and studio of ceramic artist Angela Verdon.

It is the sixth time she has opened up her studio to the public to show her acclaimed sculptural work in porcelain and bone china. This year she will be joined by fellow ceramicist Dennis Farrell and Russell Wilson who makes exquisite bird sculptures from needle-felted wool.

There will also be a few pieces by ceramicist Ellen Yates who Angela gives over some studio space to each week.

Angela and Dennis, who is from Much Wenlock in Shropshire, have been friends for some years and often show together. Derby based Russell met Angela during a workshop in the city.

Russell, who has a lifelong love of wildlife, has also worked as an ceramicist and says he discovered needle felting by accident but instantly recognised its potential for creating sculpture. He is inspired by Victorian taxidermy and likes to think his work could be described as textile taxidermy.
His birds are painstakingly constructed by repeatedly stabbing merino and other rare breed wools with a special barbed needle that mats the fibres together.

The colourful painted ceramics by Dennis, who has been teaching the art form at colleges and universities for more than 40 years, are in complete contrast to his host’s minimalist work.

The passage of time and change has always been central to his themes and the painting of his wheel-thrown and hand built pots are influenced by rural and coastal landscapes.

While Angela may work in completely different materials and processes, the pair of them share a passion for quality and the natural form.

Angela is a graduate of the Royal College of Art and has work permanently displayed in numerous national and international collections.

She created a beautiful porcelain window as a special exhibit for Royal Crown Derby and a striking installation that used to be on display at QUAD but is currently being cleaned.

For the open days on November 21 and 22 the three of them will be displaying work in a couple of rooms in the main house in Alvaston and also in the studio, which is based in a former coach house at the bottom of the garden. It is best accessed from Murray Street at the rear of 1066 London Road.

The studio will be open from 10am-6pm on Saturday and 11am-4pm on Sunday.

There is a preview on the Friday evening November 20 from 5-8pm. Everyone is welcome.