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Instantly recognisable, Amanda Popham’s bottles and vessels are the product of a lifetime’s devotion to drawing as a means of expressing an idea or emotion and to the tradition of ceramics itself. From the earliest years of her art career she has had an ever-widening circle of collectors for her idiosyncratic and fantastic pieces.
Amanda studied at the Royal College of Art and came into contact with many inspirational artists, driving her to push the boundaries of her creativity and imagination and developing her highly original style. Eduardo Paolozzi was on the teaching staff and just a couple of years ahead of Amanda; pioneers of the new spirit in ceramics, Jacqui Poncelet, Alison Britton and Glenys Barton returned to the college as visiting lecturers. Her reputation was established when her work was selected by Liberty’s who she supplied for 20 years. Her unique, imaginative, hand built earthenware figures and installations exude a natural spontaneity and are beautifully executed to the highest standard.
Amanda makes the point that narrative ceramics, which may seem, at first glance, decorative and playful but, like all good stories, can be ambiguous or sinister or have an air of thoughtful melancholy. Using clay with a combination of formality and spontaneity with detailed modelling, painting and surface decoration, including words, she continues to strive for clarity and fluency of ideas and feelings. Starting with the vessel and the figure as symbols and as objects and following where the ideas lead.
Her work is all hand-built earthenware decorated with underglaze colours, oxides and lustres. She emphasises that her great pleasure in making things is that there is always another thing to make.
Amanda won the INAX prize, a Japanese sponsored design award, and she is also a member of The Devon Guild of Craftsmen.