cambridge contemporary art

Karen Banks

Karen Banks is a ceramic artist who expresses her love of the natural world and the vessel forms created by nature, by producing handbuilt pieces with an organic quality, marked by the elemental forces of fire and smoke.

Karen's inspirations come from the natural world, and the beauty in found objects. Unearthing pieces of broken ceramic particularly interests her, made of clay which comes from the earth, to end up returning to the earth to be discovered like a piece from some historical jigsaw. Karen sets out to create a sense of the unearthed and ‘found’ in her work. She enjoys the unpredictability of smoke firing, it enhances the organic and natural quality of the individual pieces. No two pieces are ever the same, only similar, as if part of the same ‘family’.

The vessel is a constant theme for Karen, as is the relation of the inside to the outside. She is interested in the contrast between the aged and weathered textures of the exterior walls of objects such as pebbles and shells, and the silky smooth interiors when exposed. For Karen, the experience of touching the vessel is as important as appreciating its form. The curves of her large vessels are accentuated by the burnishing and polishing processes she uses. With her small vessels, it is all about the contrasting tactile experiences, and the tension between their apparent fragility and ability to balance.

Karen handbuilds her work from a mixture of stoneware and porcelain clays, using a combination of pinching, pressing and scraping techniques for the small vessels, moulding and coiling for the large vessels.

The works illustrated below are intended to give you a taste of what the gallery has to offer, please email us on info@cambridgegallery.co.uk or call us on 01223 324222 to find out which pieces are currently available. Prices range from £48 - £125.


Set Piece: Nest of Two Smoke Fired Ceramic Vessels with Seed

H 4.8 cm D 7.5 cm

 

Pale Ringed Smoke Fired Ceramic Vessel

H 3.5 cm D 7 cm

 

Black Speckled Smoke Fired Ceramic H 3.8 cm D 7 cm £48

Black Speckled Smoke Fired Ceramic

H 3.8 cm D 7 cm

£48

Nest of Three Smoke Fired Ceramic Vessels, with Cappucino Seed H 4.8 cm D 7.2 cm £98

Nest of Three Smoke Fired Ceramic Vessels, with Cappucino Seed

H 4.8 cm D 7.2 cm

£98

Nest of Two Smoke Fired Ceramic Vessels, with Lined White Seed H 5 cm D 7 cm £70

Nest of Two Smoke Fired Ceramic Vessels, with Lined White Seed

H 5 cm D 7 cm

£70

Pale Speckled Smoke Fired Ceramic Vessel H 5.2 cm D 7.8 cm £58

Pale Speckled Smoke Fired Ceramic Vessel

H 5.2 cm D 7.8 cm

£58

Pale Speckled Smoke Fired Ceramic Vessel with Seed

H 5 cm D 7 cm

 

Black Ringed Smoke Fired Ceramic Vessel H 5 cm D 7 cm £58

Black Ringed Smoke Fired Ceramic Vessel

H 5 cm D 7 cm

£58

Black Smoke Fired Vessel, Three Ways H 5.2 cm D 6.8 cm £125

Black Smoke Fired Vessel, Three Ways

H 5.2 cm D 6.8 cm

£125

Nest of Two Black Smoke Fired Ceramic Vessels H 3.8 cm D 6.2 cm £68

Nest of Two Black Smoke Fired Ceramic Vessels

H 3.8 cm D 6.2 cm

£68

Nest of Two Smoke Fired Ceramic Vessels, with Seed H 4.8 cm D 7.5 cm £90

Nest of Two Smoke Fired Ceramic Vessels, with Seed

H 4.8 cm D 7.5 cm

£90

Pale Speckled Smoke Fired Ceramic Vessel H 4.7 cm D 6.8 cm £54

Pale Speckled Smoke Fired Ceramic Vessel

H 4.7 cm D 6.8 cm

£54

Set Piece: Nest of Three Smoke Fired Ceramic Vessels with Seed

H 4.5 cm D 7 cm

 

Small Black Ringed Smoke Fired Ceramic Vessel

H 4 cm D 5.5 cm

 

Crackled Smoke Fired Ceramic Vessel, with Lined White Seed £75

Crackled Smoke Fired Ceramic Vessel, with Lined White Seed

£75

Nest of Two Black Smoke Fired Ceramic Vessels H 4.8 cm D 7.5 cm £85

Nest of Two Black Smoke Fired Ceramic Vessels

H 4.8 cm D 7.5 cm

£85

Pale Ringed Smoke Fired Ceramic Vessel H 4 cm D 7.5 cm £48

Pale Ringed Smoke Fired Ceramic Vessel

H 4 cm D 7.5 cm

£48

Pale Speckled Smoke Fired Ceramic Vessel H 4.5 cm D 7.7 cm £54

Pale Speckled Smoke Fired Ceramic Vessel

H 4.5 cm D 7.7 cm

£54