Having been introduced to clay whilst studying Art and Design at Foundation level in Cheltenham, Victoria Meadows went on to graduate with a degree in Ceramics from The University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, in 1996. Victoria’s working life began as a pottery technician, shortly afterwards becoming a teacher of Ceramics. Victoria now works from her studio in the Cotswolds.
With a lifelong fascination of ancient, often primitive ceramic techniques and form, Victoria places great value on these creative influences spanning other cultures and ages, considering her work as a continuation of these creative journeys, allowing her thoughts to be rooted in historical pottery whilst re-imagining and moving into new directions. A hand building ceramicist, Victoria’s technique has evolved to enable the making process to enhance surface quality. Using large coils of clay, Victoria pinches them into shape, refining to finesse the line of the curves as the pot grows. This process of refinement is carefully considered. It is a tactile experience using the minimum amount of tools possible. A celebration of clay, embracing its beautiful characteristics, leaving rips and tears, indentations from fingerprints and marks of the making process.
The final layer of surface decoration comes from my unique saggar firing process. A mixture of primitive wood firing practices have led Victoria to discover ways of finding colour and abstract markings. Foraged wood and plant life used in the firing and the elemental conditions on the day all direct the decorative results. Adaptability to the changing seasons is crucial in Victoria’s goal of finding the essence of a fleeting moment in time, etched onto a surface. Victoria says that the precarious nature of this style of firing brings enormous vitality and gives her an emotional connection to her work.