Ceramics & Glass (MA)

Elise Ruffell

Elise Ruffell is a UK-based ceramicist, artist and educator. 

Following a previous career as an IT consultant in the late 1990s, Elise discovered a passion for clay, graduating from Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design in 2007 with a First Class BA (Hons) in Ceramic Design. Alongside her studio pracice, Elise is an art & design teacher who has worked with students of all levels from primary school to university. 

Elise also has extensive experience of teaching maths and is a specialist in embedding maths in creative teaching. She has designed and delivers teacher training on this subject for the University of the Arts London Awarding Body.

Elise's practice focuses on the use of colour to represent emotion within the constraints of geometric forms.

Her dissertation explored ceramicists' relationships with their tools and the repurposing of objects as tools within ceramic practice.

Elise is open to discussion regarding visiting lecturer opportunities, exhibitions and commissions.

Exhibitions include: Contemporary Ceramics, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, the Royal College of Art, Pulse at Earls Court, Handmade in Britain at Chelsea Old Town Hall, The Craft Centre & Design Gallery at Leeds Art Gallery, the Royal Birmingham Society of Arts and the Barbican, London. 

Elise's work has featured in various publications including Country Living Magazine, Design Arts Magazine, a-n Magazine, London Potters Newsletter (cover) and White Weddings Magazine. 

For all enquires please email elise@eliseruffell.co.uk

Contact

elise@eliseruffell.co.uk

www.eliseruffell.co.uk

www.instagram.com/eliseruffell

Shopify site to purchase selected works

Degree Details

School of Arts & Humanities

My forms are familiar and geometric – circles, cubes and prisms. Each would be characterless were it not for the inclusions of colourful Parian clay. The spectrum appears to burst from the surface, as though no longer able to be supressed. Each piece asserts its own unique agency and identity, inspired by my personal journey to self-knowledge and acceptance.  

On the circular two-dimensional pieces, colours swirl and flow, moving and merging as I work with the clay. The circle acts as a porthole, a window into a vibrant world. 

My three-dimensional forms employ the process of press-moulding – pushing the material from the inside. The enjoyment of spontaneity and uncertainty is paramount, the final aesthetic only revealed when removed from the mould. Hence I divest control over exactly how each piece will look, valuing the cracks and fissures which are not imperfections but an expression of uniqueness. I consider striving for perfection to be an ultimately fruitless task. Who defines these expectations anyway? Society may push us to conform to certain conventions but it is in being true to myself that I truly thrive.  

Into View — Double sided coloured Parian clay disk on plaster stand (side 1). 19cm x 15cm x 4cm

Into View — Double sided coloured Parian clay disk on plaster stand (side 2). 19cm x 15cm x 4cm

Into View — Double sided coloured Parian clay disk. 15cm diameter

Inside the colours swirl,
until now hidden from view.
Yellow and turquoise,
orange and red –
A vibrant spectrum,
a glimpse into a
new world of possibilities.
.

Medium:

Parian clay, ceramic stains, plaster

Size:

19cm x 15cm x 4cm
circle
colour
colourful
disk
geometric
interiors
multicoloured
parian
porcelain
sculpture
spectrum
vibrant

Suffusion — Coloured Parian clay disk. 22cm diameter

Suffusion (detail) — Coloured Parian clay disk. 22cm diameter

Suffusion — Coloured Parian clay disk hung on wall

A melee of emotions
surge through me.
It is time to speak my truth;
show my colours
to the world.
.

Medium:

Parian clay, ceramic stains

Size:

22cm diameter

Between — Coloured Parian clay forms on plaster stand. 19cm x 19cm x 2cm

Between — Coloured Parian clay forms on plaster stand. 19cm x 19cm x 2cm

Between (detail) — Coloured Parian clay forms on plaster stand. 19cm x 19cm x 2cm

We come to life in the spaces between.
.

Medium:

Parian clay, ceramic stains, plaster

Size:

19cm x 19cm x 2cm

Colourscape I — Paper collage. 20cm diameter

Colourscape II — Paper collage. 20cm diameter

Colourscape III — Paper collage. 20cm diameter

Working in another material, such as paper, allows for experimentation at speed. Colours and forms can be placed and replaced repeatedly, unlike with my Parian clay disks. Whilst having a similar vibrant aesthetic, paper offers very different qualities. The colours do not merge and move but instead retain cut lines and tears. Small twisted pieces appear to float on the surface, casting shadows on the layers beneath.
.

Medium:

Paper

Size:

Each 20cm diameter

Emergence (Blue I) (detail) — Porcelain white stoneware and coloured Parian clay

Emergence (Blue I), Emergence (Red I) & Emergence (Yellow I) — Porcelain white stoneware and coloured Parian clay. 15cm x 15cm x 15cm, 7cm x 7cm x 7cm & 7cm x 7cm x 7cm

Emergence (Blue I), Emergence (Red I) & Emergence (Yellow I) — Porcelain white stoneware and coloured Parian clay. 15cm x 15cm x 15cm, 7cm x 7cm x 7cm & 7cm x 7cm x 7cm

Colour is not just an aspect of my work, it is intrinsic. Vibrant pigments saturate the clay body. I choose not to use glaze; the surface details of my pieces are created during the form making process. For me, a layer of glaze can be seen as an outer shell, clothing the substance beneath. I want the materials I use to speak from within. Glenn Adamson likened the “secondary-ness of decoration” to the “marginalisation of minorities” as both are often afterthoughts. For too long I lived hidden behind an exterior which belied the real me. Now I am able to live as my true self, raw and visible. In this state, I am no longer subdued; my emotions are intense, expressed in the physicality of my work through the use of vibrant colours. Although a member of a minority group, I am strong. I will not be marginalised.
.

Medium:

Porcelain white stoneware, Parian clay, ceramic stains

Size:

15cm x 15cm x 15cm, 7cm x 7cm x 7cm & 7cm x 7cm x 7cm

Celebration I & Celebration II — Porcelain white stoneware and coloured Parian clay. 15cm x 15cm x 15cm and 7cm x 7cm x 7cm

Celebration II — Porcelain white stoneware and coloured Parian clay. 7cm x 7cm x 7cm

Celebration I (detail) — Porcelain white stoneware and coloured Parian clay. 15cm x 15cm x 15cm

My work celebrates life in three dimensions.
Colours bring richness to every facet.
.

Medium:

Porcelain white stoneware, Parian clay, ceramic stains

Size:

15cm x 15cm x 15cm and 7cm x 7cm x 7cm

Somewhere — Parian clay, ceramic stains. 20cm x 10cm x 7cm

Breakthrough — Parian clay, porcelain white stoneware, ceramic stains. 25cm x 12cm x 7cm

The rainbow – a universally recognisable symbol
representing hope and inclusivity.
As the symbol of the LGBTQ+ community,
it is a sign of safety and visibility.
The spectrum bridges science and art
with an ethereal beauty.
.

Medium:

Parian clay, porcelain white stoneware, ceramic stains

Size:

20cm x 10cm x 7cm and 25cm x 12cm x 7cm

Exudence I, II & III (detail) — Porcelain white stoneware and coloured Parian. 15cm x 15cm x 15cm, 7cm x 7cm x 7cm & 7cm x 7cm x 7cm

Emanation — Coloured Parian clay. 7cm x 7cm x 7cm

Parian clay was traditionally used to cast delicate figurines – the epitome of femininity.
I choose to subvert this narrative.
My Parian is vibrant, textured, challenging – inviting further exploration.
.

Medium:

Porcelain white stoneware, Parian clay, ceramic stains

Size:

15cm x 15cm x 15cm, 7cm x 7cm x 7cm & 7cm x 7cm x 7cm

Parian clay sample disks — Parian clay, ceramic stains. Each 5cm diameter

Parian clay sample disks — Parian clay, ceramic stains. Each 5cm diameter

Visual effects generated by exploring physical interventions with Parian clay using a variety of processes including grating and inlaying. The act of making becomes performative; a need to physically express myself. At times cathartic, joyous and exciting. There is no right or wrong outcome, simply a series of self-expressions, all unique, personal and beautiful in their own way.
.

Medium:

Parian clay, ceramic stains

Size:

Each 5cm diameter

Drawing 1 — Paper, pen, ink. 25cm x 25cm

Drawing 2 — Paper, pen, ink. 25cm x 25cm

Drawing 3 — Paper, pen. 25cm x 25cm

Drawing 4 — Paper, pen. 25cm x 25cm

Inspired by the Bauhaus with elements of mathematical imagery, these drawings and collages capture both solid geometry and more fluid movement.
.

Medium:

Paper, pen, ink

Size:

Each 25cm x 25cm
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