My work explores the links between ceramics and geology and place, making pieces entirely from geological samples that I have collected from specific locations around the country, and that illustrate the ceramic qualities inherent in these materials. There is an extremely varied geology in the UK with a spectacular range of rocks and minerals ranging from recent river deposits to some of the oldest rocks on the planet. Many of these have been quarried at some stage during the human occupation of the country, though mostly for processes other than ceramics, such as building or making roads. The pieces that I make illustrate another way of looking at these materials and the colours and textures that they are capable of producing in the kiln: inspiration coming from the materials themselves, the qualities that they develop in firings and the places that I have collected them from.
I am working with a wide range of different rocks and clays, using firing types and temperatures that bring out the best in them. Increasingly my approach becomes simpler and simpler, taking ceramics back to its essence. I use these materials as unrefined as possible: rocks are crushed by hand, milled and blended to create the glazes, clays are often used as dug straight from the ground.
This work is fired in my wood kilns using waste wood that has grown where I live in Cambridgeshire. The firing itself transform these glazes producing exceptional qualities that would be impossible to achieve in any other way. That is what makes this work unique.
I was born in the UK but emigrated to Australia in 1988 and studied Ceramics at The National Art School Sydney. I have worked as a potter ever since, building workshops and kilns in Australia and the UK, on my return in 2002. Currently I live and work in a small village on the edge of the Fens, near Cambridge. I have a gas kiln and two wood kilns that I use to fire my work. Since 2010 I have been researching the geology of Britain and using found rocks and clays to make my work.
Laura Boswell is a printmaker working exclusively with linocut and traditional Japanese woodblock printing. She has a degree in Art History/Visual Art from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and has been elected to the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers.
Laura has attended three printmaking residencies in Japan, studying woodblock printmaking with master craftsmen. This spring she spent a month in Tokyo with three fellow artists and collaborated with two exhibition events at 3331 Chiyoda Arts Centre, Tokyo. She was selected as one of five British artists exhibiting at the Ulsan International Print Festival in South Korea this summer. Her book ‘Making Japanese Woodblock Prints’ has just been published by Crowood Press.
Laura’s work often references a traditional Japanese aesthetic in its use of white space, her colour choices and minimal approach. She shares the Japanese appreciation of rigorous training; her work often displays impulsive line and brushwork, requiring meticulous cutting and printing to give the impression of fluid spontaneity. In addition to her printmaking, Laura teaches, writes a monthly column for Artists and Illustrators Magazine and works on the occasional public art project. She also co-hosts the weekly podcast ‘Ask an Artist’ with fellow artist Peter Keegan.
Laura’s prints feature in national collections including the Buckinghamshire County Museum, The House of Lords and the Library of Wales. She also has prints in the Nagasawa Art Park collection and the MI-Lab Print Collection in Japan.