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"Fairies" Latest release by Heidi Warr

12th December 2012

 The lastest release from the Studio of Heidi Warr is a fantastic and detiled tour do force. The piece can be seen on the Contemporary Ceramics Page. As with all of her pieces, Heidi likes to apply a meaning to her art and designs; about the Fairies Vase she writes:

"The Fairies piece is a highly decorated slab built earthenware tower using under-glaze colours, slip-trailing, incising, and lustre. I carefully make each piece by hand using traditional techniques dating back hundreds of years, making each one unique in its own way. The pieces are limited editions (numbers 1-9), however, each one will be individual through the application of different colours on the wings of the fairies. The towers are 17 inches high by 6 inches wide at the base and 4 inches wide at the top. This piece is my first real journey into using surreal and abstract art on pottery and the first time I have introduced the lustre process.

I have always loved surreal and abstract work, as it really gets you thinking about what the artist was trying to convey. With the Fairies piece I wanted to create a surreal and abstract representation of the lighter and darker sides of life. I wanted to use fairies because they are a real paradox. They are often depicted as having angelic magical qualities but they are also described in folklore as having a darker more sinister side too.

I thought carefully about particular objects that could be included and what they meant to me and how they might fit with the overall effect I wanted to achieve. I aimed to create a dreamlike state between reality and the imaginary state of mind.

On the lighter side I wanted to design a fairy that looked elegant and graceful. I wanted her to be softly enveloped in foliage that felt warm and inviting. To add another dimension that would intrigue and excite our senses I included a druid holding an incense burner and created stylised smoke which melted into the foliage.

On the darker side I wanted the fairy to have a more sinister, forceful look. I wanted to capture the intent the fairy had as she spears the very moon and stars and thus controls the night. Her spells change the forms of other fairies. The cherub like foliage is turned into thorns. Her spells stop time itself.

On the dark side the stylised smoke emits from a bottle kiln which for me represent a golden age in pottery. Many years ago the skylines of towns in Northern England would have been dominated by bottle kilns. For me there is a real paradox about them, on one hand belching out their fumes in an industrial way and on the other hand giving birth to some of the finest most collectable pottery in the world.

Creating a representation of the lighter and darker side of life meant that I needed to use two different designs. The challenge with this was that whilst I wanted them to be seen as separate, for example, when they are viewed straight on, they also needed to flow and fit together when the piece was viewed from the corner. The overlapping aspects of the design (mushrooms and smoke) and the foliage all helped the two designs to flow together.

For me, paradoxes are really what this piece represents; light and dark, good and bad and that even though these are opposite qualities they can be seen as part of a whole and that it’s what we choose to see that’s important."

Last Updated - 15th July 2018