How do you work, and are there connections between your ceramics and printmaking?

Three's a Crowd, by Ruth Barrett-Danes

I have been and am very concerned with materials and process. I was very fortunate to have had tutors who were passionate and dedicated in their teaching and rigorous in their approach to the craftsmanship of their area whether it was sculpture, ceramics or printmaking. This approach informs all my work, especially with Ceramics and the careful preparation of the clay and the lengthy procedures involved before a finished piece emerged from the kiln, and then being prepared for the inevitable disappointments and failures engendered a stoical approach and resolution to try again. The lithographic image also involved a laborious preparation of limestone that had to be ground smooth, being careful to select the appropriate grade of stone to suit the nature and content of the lithographic image being created --- these processes and degrees of preparation have permeated throughout my work, whether it is ceramic or print.

Ruth Barret-Danes

I find the same approach holds true with my printmaking today. The sensuous qualities of clay are also there in the print materials I use. The inks, the paper and the physical involvement in producing a print just can’t be felt via a computer screen, although a very useful tool. Often I develop ideas on the computer and can be seduced by the ease of manipulating the images and all that has to offer. However the time when the excitement really kicks in is with the actual hands on involvement with materials and the subsequent problem solving, intrinsically interweaving the idea, image or message I want to work with. For me it is an essential journey, working through the process and capturing an idea via one’s chosen medium.

What is inspiring your work now?

I am very much concerned with my response to the nature of the Hampshire landscape I find myself in, but am still very concerned with the interdependency of social relations. Today self-contained struggles are expressed through the imagery and nature of birds.


View more work on Ruth's minisite