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Sculpture has a life-long interest for Shelagh. Since completing her degree in studio ceramics in 2000, she has used clay as the medium for her artwork, which has become widely collected.
Her pieces have a timeless, narrative quality. Individual figures stand alone, deep in thought, or are joined by a cast of other participants – people, animals and birds.
She says; ‘My works evidently influenced by old English ceramics and folk art from everywhere, but I especially love the figures drawn in medieval illustrated manuscripts. I hope that I manage to capture an echo of their spirit in my work.’
In keeping with her Cornish heritage, she uses clay dug and prepared in Cornwall. She fires to 1215°C.
She particularly enjoys the opportunity that clay offers for different surface finishes. They are not always predictable and opening the kiln door after firing still has power to confound or delight. Her pieces have areas of toasted clay next to a cream matt stone-like finish. Additional tonal contrast is sometimes provided by dark slipped areas dappled with small pools of glaze.
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