Alex McCarthy creates objects with a harmonious connection between surface and form. His pieces are formally inspired by simple ceramic profiles and the highly textured surface is a response to his fascination for touch. The tactile qualities of his artefacts are inspired by textures that surround us such as; tree bark, natural rocks, cracking paint and even marine life.
The thrown vessel is used as a canvas to investigate the properties of these surfaces. Metal oxides add depth whilst the gold, platinum and copper lustre add a sense of opulence.
No two pieces are ever the same; this is intentional, as he feels each piece has its own story to tell. He wants the viewer to interact with the work through touch and perhaps see if they can feel the pots journey. Each item is fired several times due to the different temperatures in which he fires; this gives him the opportunity to re-fire vessels to add more oxide or lustre.
It is the range of textural qualities that can be obtained from different clays and materials taken from the ground that really excites him as a ceramicist. The various approaches to creating these unique surfaces, through a range of techniques are of constant interest.
Alex has a First-Class Honours Degree in Ceramics from Cardiff School of Art.