I would like to reassure people that I am still open for business. I am following best practices and you can still ORDER from my website or online through GALLERIES.

A modest volume of sales during this period will help see us all (artists, exhibition organisers and galleries alike) through to the other side of this crisis. 

If you know of someone who needs a ‘virtual hug’ or a birthday or anniversary treat – you might just have come to the right place!

If you do choose to BUY an artwork from me you can be sure that I am following all official UK government advice and that every parcel is handled with care.  I work alone in my studio and my chosen couriers are operating a contactless delivery service.

Stay safe and take care

 

Paul

 

Working Methods

I have made a full-time living as an artist for the last 22 years, making clay one-off sculptures and limited edition sculptures in my studio on the edge of the Peak District.

My clay hand building techniques are a little unconventional.

I completed a Fine Art Sculpture course in 1983 and had little experience of fired ceramics up to that point.  I was used to modelling solid in clay and then making a plaster mould. When I started my ceramics studio in 1998 there was a big learning curve!

I started out by press-moulding a collection of abstracted animal sculptures to make small-scale limited edition runs.  If you have one of these they are possibly quite rare by now.

After a few years of press-moulding I had a strong desire to try hand building and be more freely creative, making individual, unique clay sculptures. This is what I now concentrate on.

In about 2005, I attended a short course run by the wonderful Ian Gregory, who doesn’t really accept the normal ‘rules’ – developing his own hand building techniques and making his own kilns.  Ian’s method is to support the wet clay with a system of rods, only taking these out once the clay can hold its own weight. 

I have adapted Ian’s method a little by incorporating a solid ‘back-iron’ support.  This allows me to make quite large sculptures, although I am limited by the size of my kiln.  The internal spaces of the sculptures are taken up with packaging materials – newspaper, cardboard or bio-degradable bubblewrap – all of which are taken out before firing.

These working methods allow for free and spontaneous variations on a particular theme, each piece being subtly different from its predecessor.

I decorate my clay sculptures with a combination of slips, oxides, body stains and underglazes.  Recently these have been getting a little bit more ‘splashy’ and expressive.

 

Paul Smith

Paul Smith Sculpture

Credit: Dizzy Spell Films by Dan Vallin

Credit: York Artworkers Association 2019 Terry Brett - Pyramid Gallery