Chris Bramble

Chris Bramble 110_E.jpg


London, England

Category: Ceramics
Location: Europe

My hand-crafted pots and ceramic sculpture bring together my interest in the European sculptural tradition, and the love of African craftsmanship, shape and form. Sculpted faces and torsos emerge from the wheel-thrown vessels and shapes. Making each of my pieces is a meditation, and a spiritual and emotional activity which I can share with everyone.

Teaching a wide variety of techniques keeps my own work fresh and multi-faceted. Many of my pieces are composite, using thrown, moulded and sculpted parts. I use a range of techniques, several different clays, and both electric and gas reduction firing methods.

I was born in London in 1958 and was brought up in Ipswich, Hastings and Glasgow.

I left London at the age of three and stayed in Ipswich until I was thirteen, then moved to Hastings where the order of the day was school, roller skating and listening to music by the sea. When I was nineteen, I did a course at Hastings College. My work involved using cardboard models and plastics to design interiors of commercial buildings and museums. Incidentally, clay was one of the materials used in this process of vacuum forming, a part of 3D design. I became so involved and immersed in using clay that I decided to further my newfound interest in art with clay as my medium.

After putting together a portfolio with all my clay work, I got excepted into Glasgow school of Art where I gained a BA Hours Degree in Art and Design specialising in ceramics. This experience enabled me to work free- lance, which is when I had the time to hone my craft and develop a style of my own. Only then did I had complete freedom to express my feelings and ideas in my art work.

I became interested in European sculptors such as Rodin and in African craftsmanship. I created a simplicity in combining my love of African forms and culture, with modern techniques. Out of this contrast of African heritage and a European upbringing, it resulted in many successful exhibitions in London and had a very strong but warm, contemporary style.

In September 1985, using my experience in exhibition design, I moved to Zimbabwe where I took up the post of Exhibition Officer for the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, co-ordinating and designing many different exhibitions and cultural exchange programmes for countries such as, USA, USSR and Japan.

Zimbabwean stone sculpture has influenced me a lot. I took part in many workshops where I met local artists and developed my skills in carving serpentine and verdite stone. This background in carving gave me individuality and a variety of forms and shape to play around with.

Returning from Zimbabwean, I had a run of exhibitions, establishing myself as a ceramic sculptor. At the age of 29 in 1988 it was time to set up my own studio. Now I run a ceramic workshop teaching this traditional craftsmanship of ceramics alongside my daughter Freya, and for fill creativity with dynamic artworks.

The content of my work is influenced through the people I have met and the spirit that lies within them. Making my now every day craft a joy. Being inspired by life and living in harmony, with a rhythm of music and dance. I also feel, I have to document hidden aspects of todays black culture. Each of my pieces is a meditation; a spiritual and emotional activity which I can share with everyone. When working with clay, the work is not always permanent, but the energy is.

Ceramicskate caprariEurope