Rupert Brakspear

Rupert Brakspear — Ceramicist

My work has developed over the past eight years both through a detailed exploration of place (using ceramic experimentation, photography and drawing) – and increasingly in the guise of a production potter. Much of my work focuses on landscapes associated with now vanished, ceramic production (clay pits, brick and tile works, potteries, kiln sites etc.) and the search for raw materials in these locations. This process involves meeting farmers, woodsmen, quarry workers and landowners, both in seeking permission to explore and take samples – and in building my knowledge and understanding of these unique landscapes. I aim to leave minimal impact (shaving clay from the side of a ditch or foundation trench, using ash from wood stoves or whisky distillery peat kilns, rock dust from quarry workings or a cliff fall), only making small batches of functional ware to reflect the specific location. In addition, another key factor is my work with the businesses in these areas (bakeries, cafes, breweries, distilleries, pubs etc.), that may be interested in my using local materials to create something that fits with their ethos, commitment to sustainability and passion for what they produce or serve. A good example is the work that I shared with Bruichladdich Distillery on the Isle of Islay (see ).