Sophie Cook’s beautifully distinctive approach to ceramics has been evident since she graduated from Camberwell School of Arts in 1997 with a series of bottles in varying shades of matt turquoise. The importance of colour in Sophie’s works originated in reaction to traditional ceramics, with glazes she deemed dull. Sophie now works with a huge variety of tones, which function more than merely as surface decoration, and are integral to Sophie’s designs. The most recent additions to Sophie’s tonal palette are earthy tones reminiscent of the Suffolk coast where she lives and works.
Sophie’s practice has developed from the original bottle to include pod and teardrop shapes. It is clear to see the shift in Sophie’s inspiration, from skyscrapers and towers, to a more general concern with form and simplicity. The elegant bottles and pods, with their extraordinary precision, are the result of a complex and extremely delicate process. During their creation, risks of cracking during carving and firing are so high that half of Sophie’s pieces are not completed. After being hand-thrown on the wheel and left to dry for two days, the works are refined through hand-carving. They are sprayed with an original glaze which Sophie has honed over the years she has been working with porcelain.
Sophie’s pieces are on display in prominent permanent collections, such as The Manchester City Galleries, the Geffrye Museum, London and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Sophie is often commissioned for pieces and installations, meaning she is represented in residencies all over the world. In 2002, she was awarded the Adrian Sassoon Award of the Kiln at Chelsea Crafts Fair, and from 2009 to 2011 she was included in the touring exhibition ‘European Design Since 1985: Shaping the New Century.’