Pat Johnson

Enamel Artist
Degree in Chemistry
Lives and works West London
British Society of Enamellers

Inspired by natural forms and colour in rocks and shells, her discerning eye and hand transforms matter from subject to object through interaction copper, glass and fire. Getting five or six different enamel layers to all perform their best on one bowl is the technical challenge taking into account the variation in colour, melting point, and behaviour. The resulting works are sumptuous coloured layering and patinas.

An enamelled bowl can have the feel of a natural object or refer to the ideas of nourishment and comfort.  Both the inside and outside must work together and visually enhance each other, with the placement of the most exciting part of the design being determined by the shape of the bowl. Because the enamels are held on a slanting surface, they can slide during firing, bringing out their character and vibrancy colour.

Biography

Pat Johnson is self taught. She has been concentrating on enamelling copper bowls for the last ten years. Previously she worked in the area of large scale enamelling on steel and over a twenty year period she completed many public and private commissions. Prior to that, she developed her techniques and ideas about enamelling on copper while she created pictures with this medium. At this point she was trying to prove to herself that art made with enamels was the equivalent of painting. She continued with this investigation while she was enamelling on large steel panels, and eventually concluded that discovering the potential of enamel itself and working with its unique qualities, was most important to her. It was at the point that she began to concentrate on enamelling bowls, which she feels is the surface the best to show what enamels can do.

Enamelling is the technique of melting glass granules on a metal surface to produce wonderful colours, designs, and images. First discovered in connection with jewellery over 2500 years ago, enamelling has kept pace with the evolution of painting and jewellery and now it is coming to be recognized for its own contribution to the arts and crafts.

The actual process of enamelling is quick and simple. The glass, ground into fine grains, is applied to the metal – copper, silver, gold or steel – and the work is fired at a red- hot temperature. The firing usually takes between one and one and a half minutes, but firing is never enough. Every enamelled object and picture has been in and out of the kiln many times.

Selected Exhibitions

2015    Brewery Arts, Kendal.’New Ceramics for Wall and Table’ (solo)

2014    Gavagan Art at Linton Court, Settle, N Yorks solo ( with David Thomas and Jacquie Denby painters)

2013    Scottish Gallery ‘Objects’
Yew Tree Gallery, Morvah, Cornwall- (solo with Mrk Hearld collage and paintings and Guy Royle jewelry)

2012    Galerie du Don, France

2011    Contemporary Ceramics Centre, London ‘Through Fifty’
Yew Tree Gallery, Morvah, Cornwall ( solo with Mark Hearld)

2009    Galerie Terra Viva, France
Godfrey and Watt*, Harrogate (solo exhibition)
Scottish Gallery (Mark Hearld and Friends)

2008    William de Morgan Centre, London solo exhibition
Summer House, Mill Valley, CA, USA solo exhibition
2007    Godfrey and Watt, Harrogate solo exhibition
Puisaye Potters, Treigny, France (invited guest exhibitor)
2006    Harley Gallery, Welbeck, Notts
Contemporary Ceramics, London. ‘What a Dish’
Brook Street Gallery, Hay on Wye solo
2005    Gallerytop, Derbyshire solo
Simon Drew gallery Dartmouth solo
Galerie Terra Viva, France
2004    Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh solo
Alpha House Gallery, “Humour in Ceramics
Rufford Craft Centre & touring Europe, “Pots in the Kitchen”
Woodbury Gallery, nr Exeter
Galerie Terra Viva, France
Shipley Gallery, Gateshead