cambridge contemporary art

Katie Pruden

Throughout the summer holidays of her childhood Katie would scour the Cornish beaches for stones and pebbles whose shapes and surfaces, colours, pattterns and textures corresponded to the ideals of her personal aesthetic. Returning home with her pockets (and those of her parents) bulging with these treasured souvenirs she began the fascination with natural forms impacted by the elements which became the fundamental inspiration of her work as a ceramic artist.

Many artists have found inspiration in landscape and the natural world. Katie finds pleasure in seeing the vastness of erosion and weathering, of geographical and geological change, of time and decay, expressed microcosmically in a fragment of rock. She has endeavoured to incorporate her visual and tactile responses to these phenomena in her work through abstract interpretations using press-moulding, hand-building and carving techniques.

Contrasts feature prominently in Katie's work: contrasting shapes, surfaces, colours, techniques and processes. Spiky and smooth, light and dark, controlled and unpredictable - it is through the tension of these contrasts that she ultimately creates the balance within each piece.

The making process is controlled. Katie spends a great deal of time smoothing the surface but spikes are often added one by one to provide a pleasing contrast. Smoke firing is then used to introduce an unpredictable surface pattern to the ceramic forms. Finally copper leaf is used to embellish the surface adding warmth and vibrancy to the finished piece.

Katie's work has frequently employed the sphere as its predominant shape, but more recently she has begun to manipulate and extend this form whilst still retaining the surfaces that have become intrinsic to her working practice. Coiling and extruding techniques have been introduced in order to achieve more elongated shapes that create an interesting development from her pebble forms and indicate the new directions she intends to explore in the future.

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

Seed Pots


Straight Cylinder


Spiky Pebble Pot


Mini Sphere Spiky Trio


Pebble Pots


Organic Trio