Katharine Morling is an award-winning artist working in the medium of ceramics. She set up her studio in 2003 and has since gained international acclaim for her work. I came across her delicate artworks depicting the beauty she finds in the everyday object at the Cockpit Arts Fair in Holborn this afternoon. She crafts each piece in porcelain before illustrating them with delicate inky monochromatic lines and I finally got to tough these delicate pieces which was a pretty big deal in my geeky little world. I have never seen work like Katharine’s before, it’s certainly unique and has it’s own special collectable charm, in that you could just keep adding new objects to tell and re-tell different stories.
Katharine describes her work as three-dimensional drawings, in the medium of ceramics. Each piece is, on the surface, an inanimate object, which she then dresses in ink to layers, which create emotive stories. When put together, the pieces combine to make tableaus staging the still lives of everyday objects. Each object is crafted to scale, which creates a surreal experience for the viewer. Katharine works very instinctively, stating that one piece leads to the next; she tries not to pin down what she is creating at any given time or why she is creating it. She has learnt over time to trust and believe that she can communicate something meaningful to others through this medium.
Katharine’s story and the inspiration behind her artworks is as whimsical and intriguing as the objects she makes, She took a year out between her Art Foundation and Degree course, which turned into six years of working her way around the world, through the Czech Republic, Holland, Switzerland, America, Hong Kong, China and India. She eventually ended up back in the UK, starting over again with an education at Penwith College in Penzance, where she studied psychology. She says that one day she was on her way to a lesson and suddenly realised that she kept longing to see what the other students were doing in the ceramics rooms, so she eventually went in and met the John Cockfield, the Head of Art, who proceeded to take her onto the A-level ceramics programme.
To Katharine’s surprise, she found herself applying to do the ceramics Degree at Falmouth College of Art. She managed to sell the work she made and support herself whilst on her degree which gave her the encouragement to start buying equipment and to set up her own studio, which was initially a shed at the bottom of her garden. After graduating from Falmouth, she moved to London and set up her first proper studio at the Cockpit Arts, in South London.
In her first year she was turned down by all the shows and galleries, which was not the open-armed response she was expecting, however with commitment and tenacity she eventually got her first solo show and slowly but surely it all came together, with briefs from museums, shops, galleries, commissions and shows flowing in from all over. She continues to create these extraordinary pieces daily from her studio space but also sells bespoke pieces online. Take a look at her site here.