Following a successful career as a furniture designer and maker, Keith Varney returned to education in 2005 seeking a new challenge and direction in life. He first discovered clay during a National Diploma in Design Crafts (ceramics/glass/fine metals) at City of Bath College, after achieving a triple distinction he felt compelled to take this new fascination further and applied for the BA (Hons) 3D Design; Ceramics at Bath School of Art and Design where he gained a first class degree. Keith built and set up his studio in 2011, developing his practice while working part time as a technician and tutor in the Department of Art and Design at City of Bath College.
Keith is unafraid of accuracy, of cutting clay and assembling it in panels as if it were a sheet of fine grained wood or folded origami paper. He has chosen to work with porcelain, a notoriously fickle clay body, but it has allowed him to test its limits, exploit its plasticity and celebrate its translucency.
His work is spare, pared down; in Keith’s work the vertical repeats suggest towers pointing ever skywards. These corrugated works are light but their construction gives them surprising strength. The quality of their lightness makes them creatures of the air. Keith understands the nature of corrugated porcelain, its affect on structural strength and how it can be coaxed into altered geometry. His work has presence; each piece he makes evokes a sense of curiosity in viewers who peer inside, view from every angle and observe the way the forms appear to change with the light.