Goats, mugs and bowls! It's the International Ceramics Festival...

A few weekends ago I had a blast at the International Ceramics festival in Aberystwyth.  Only held every 2 years, the ICF is unlike anything I have ever experienced before.  A coming together of all things ceramic with lectures, films, demonstrations and an exhibitors gallery of works for sale. I have to say, for me the most fascinating and inspiring of all the exhibitors was Thiebaut Chague.  A french ceramic artist who in 2009 fired one of his huge ceramic sculptures in the courtyards of the V&A to mark the opening of its new ceramics gallery!

I loved his use of clay to create organic, intriguing forms that completely draw you in.  The temptation to touch each piece is overwhelming and you can almost imagine them coming to life and clamping shut like a sea anemone might! He uses a blow torch to quickly dry certain areas of the clay before firing which makes for his characteristic interesting texture development.

Other highlights - an INCREDIBLE sculpture of a billy goat by Christine Cummings, I had to bring him home! A Thiebaut Chague bowl I snapped up in the exhibitors gallery (the only thing i could barely afford!).  Learning decal techniques from Velimir Vukicevic. Tip Toland's incredibly lifelike human forms. A beautiful mug by Jo Walker. Catching up with good friends and feeding our collective pottery addiction!