William Papworth (b.1996, Somerset, England) is a ceramicist and photographer, currently working in East Sussex. Following his completion of a Foundation Course at Oxford Brookes University, Papworth received his First-Class BA in Fine Art at Kingston School of Art in 2019. His final year studies saw him sit for the first time at a potter’s wheel and he has been captivated by clay ever since. Following graduation, Papworth built himself a simple working studio in his garden, where he makes his ceramics. His work is entirely self-taught, and here he spends his time practising, researching and learning more about his craft.
Most of the artist’s work is hand-thrown, creating stoneware, earthenware and porcelain ceramics encompassing both functional tableware and works of art. His functional works comprise of both one-off and repeated forms that reflect his appreciation of simple, ergonomic design. To Will, features such as tactility and practicality are of fundamental importance - the way an object feels in the hand means as much to him as its aesthetic qualities. The various glazes he uses all share a natural and subdued palette, giving precedent to profile; mostly monochrome matte glazes are punctuated with natural greens and soft browns. Particularly drawn to ash-based glazes from locally sourced wood, Papworth finds the subtle alchemy and vast diversity of organic ashes to present endless possibilities. He continues to develop an ongoing series exploring a range of beautiful and intriguing surfaces.