“Through her unique way of working with clay, Rachel has developed a highly personal and creative signature within her work”. David Binns
My work is about the clay; its pliable, immediate qualities. Like a photograph capturing a ‘frozen moment’ this material when fired fixes forever a gesture, an impression. All my work is hand built solid and the marks are created by impressing found objects, their origins occasionally hinted at.
Working with heavily grogged stoneware enables me to work solid and in an architectural manner. My forms allude to the built environment but deliberately avoid explicit references. In pushing the material to its limits my wish is to explore three dimensional shapes while retaining a real sense of the qualities of clay. The clay is coloured when wet using various percentages of body stains and oxides.
Alongside the stoneware pieces I also work in Parian porcelain. This pure white translucent clay is extremely receptive to the slightest indentation and pressure of the hand. I enjoy subverting its historic connotations of delicacy and fragility by working in solid forms and sometimes colouring the clay black with body stain and oxide.
How the light interacts with a piece is an important factor in the presentation of the work. Although my work has no prescribed narrative, there is a meditative quality. I often work in small series, developing ideas between pieces as in a dialogue. Mark making then connects these series; a line tracing along a trio of forms resembling the lines of a dry-stone wall cutting across the contours of a landscape.
“Rachel Grimshaw’s sculptures are emphatically about clay – alluding to the built environment but avoiding specific reference. Though solid and still, light and shadow play around the marks and gestures arrested in the clay” Brigitte Soltau “Urban Traces: Ceramics & the City” Gallery Oldham, exhibition catalogue.
“Rachel Grimshaw, whose tactile, squashed and manipulated block-like forms stood out because of her sensitive understanding of detail within a deceptively simple shape” Alex McErlain review in Ceramic Review.