Lanty Ball was named winner of the Potclays Emerging Makers Award at the festival’s Sunday afternoon closing ceremony. The award is open to UK-based new ceramicists and artists working with clay, who have graduated from a UK University or Institute of Higher Education within the past five years or who are graduating this summer.
Promising 22-year-old talent Lanty, from the University of Central Lancashire, recently completed his degree in Contemporary Crafts and is now studying there for an MA in Ceramics. He impressed with his core practice, which he has developed from a reflective design process, shifting between contextual research, drawing, and experimentation with materials and processes.
As part of his prize Lanty, from Preston, will travel to the Archie Bray Foundation in America next year for a month-long residency. All six Emerging Makers finalists had a very successful exhibition across the festival weekend.
As well as Lanty, finalists included Fay De Winter (University of the Creative Arts Farnham); Cheryl Ewing (Manchester Metropolitan University); Eluned Glyn (Cardiff Metropolitan University); Carl Gray (Loughborough University) and AJ Stockwell (also Cardiff Metropolitan University.)
Lanty’s simple thrown or slip-cast vessels in parian and porcelain serve as canvases for his surface designs and he said of the award, sponsored by Potcalys LTD: “The feedback I received about my work was extremely encouraging and it has given me a renewed drive to continue developing my current collection of carved vessels.
“It was amazing to win the Emerging Makers Award and many thanks to Potclays for funding the award and to the all ICF staff for being so helpful. Thanks to everyone for their support.”
Lanty incises the external surfaces of his vessels with parallel lines, using a technique that fractures the clay and creates a texture that is reminiscent of the fragmented patterns found in eroded rock faces.
Each piece is unique and hand-carved, creating a sense of movement which contrasts with the stillness and solidity of the vessel forms.
This year was Lanty’s first visit to ICF, which is in its 15th year, and he said: “A festival highlight for me was seeing the incredible range of approaches to working with clay. I particularly enjoyed listening to Thiébaut Chagué’s inspiring talk about his large scale sculptural work and the challenges he had to overcome in making them. It shows what is possible using this material.
“It was great to meet the other Emerging Makers – they are an incredibly talented group of people and I wish them all the best in their future careers. One of the best things about the festival was meeting so many people with the same passion for ceramics.
“My American residency will enable me to develop a new collection of work with two complimentary pathways. The first uses a water etching technique to draw directly onto the ceramic surface. The second involves carving more loosely into ceramic pieces to create fluid forms that are more reminiscent of calligraphic lines.”
Becky Otter, a Director at Potclays, added: “Potclays are delighted that Lanty won the public vote at ICF to receive the 2015 Potclays Emerging Makers Award. His presentation gave us a fascinating insight to his unique experimental method of incising and fracturing the surfaces of his parian and porcelain forms. We await with great anticipation the results of his residency at the Archie Bray Foundation in the USA.”