Anne Laycock, ceramicist

The Starter Studio Programme for Ceramicists was launched in October 2010 and offers early career ceramicists access to a fully equipped shared space for up to 4 people, technical, mentor and ongoing business support for a maximum of 2 yeasr.  In addition we are working closely with our partner organisation Green Estate, a regeneration agency who have been working in the Manor area of Sheffield since 1999 and have developed this former 17thC deerpark into a heritage visitor attraction with education centre, farmshop cafe and artists' studios.  

In the forthcoming year an additional wood fired kiln will be built on site with classroom sized workshop facilities to enhance the community and education programme of Green Estate.  We envisage that there will be many more opportunities for artists to learn and deliver clay workshop type activities and thereby develop an income strand alongside which may benefit the development of their professional practice.  More information on the Manor Oaks Studios can be found on the studios page.

Anne Laycock was selected in July 2011 and began her programme in October.  She describes her practice as follows:-

"The design process for me begins with play. I take a material and explore how it behaves bends, breaks reacts to heat, pressure, water, what ever comes to hand. It is once I have begun to collect the behavioral characteristic that ideas start forming and my direction of development finds its self. I then combine this testing with a compatible process and ask myself  'What if ....?'.

My approach is to not to look at machines and tools for what they are designed to do but for what they can do. The extruder is a tool that is ordinarily used for making parts, tea pot handles, coils for hand building it receives very little if any attention for its role in the making process. I wanted to elevate this tool and challenge its status. It was this attitude that inspired the notion that the extruder could be used like a pencil to draw objects.

Recently my work has been focused on making object that respond to a contemporary life style and environment. I particularly enjoy working with the multiple personalities of clay exploring its acute response to touch when in its plastic state and testing its tolerance when in its harden state. I have had a lot of interest in my work so I'm looking forward to the future.

I have showed my showed my work at the Liverpool Design Festival from 6th to 9th October, The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair in Manchester from 20th to 23rd October and will also display my work in MADE at Yorkshire Sculpture Park from 18th October to 28th February 2012. I have been nominated for a 'Networking' residency at Guldagergaard Ceramics Centre in Denmark which is taking place from early January to mid February 2012".

Anne has joined 2010 starter artists Miles Gavin who graduated with a BA (Hons.) in Ceramic Design from St. Martin's College London and Joel Neild who graduated with a 1st class BA (Hons.) degree from the University of Wales in Cardiff.