International Ceramics Festival

Friday 3rd - Sunday 5th July 2015

Jitka Palmer(UK)

Jitka Palmer

My work is figurative, narrative and expressive, inspired by stories and themes.

I love watching people, their body language and facial expressions and I am on lookout for a special moments and situations accompanying every human activity.
I use my sketchbooks, my books and my CDs as valuable collection of raw material.
Drawing and painting on clay surface is a pivot of my work.
I particularly like capturing the movement and energy of people in various activities like work, sport and music.
I love the challenge of quick intuitive drawing without unnecessary detail.
The effect of the graffiti, which can be exercised so liberally in ceramics, gives me immense, almost physical pleasure.
It serves as a visual storage of energy.
I draw on personal experiences, past and present, with a view to reflect the spontaneity of ordinary human life.

I make clay vessels and sculptures, painted with slips, oxides and stains.
I carve sculptures from Bath and Portland stone.
I draw and paint on paper in watercolour, pastel and ink.
I have exhibited in Britain, Europe and USA. My work is in private and public collections including Musee National de Ceramique, Paris.
I like working to commission.

Demonstration 1: Portrait of Dylan Thomas. Modelling of a head and shoulder bust in crank clay
Concept: The idea is to celebrate the famous Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. Next year it will be 100 years since his birth. His face was striking and reflected the drama and intensity of his life. I have always been drawn to strong faces, and it will be a challenge for me to try to bring him to life in his native land in front of the festival audience.
Method: I will set up an armature, and demonstrate step by step the creation of a clay portrait, using both hand-building and modelling techniques…and a few shortcuts. The aim will be to do a bust (head and shoulders) of the poet using sketches and various photographs as a starting point. I will slip paint and finish the head during my second demonstration, the following day.
Demonstration 2: Title: Under Milkwood: Painting of a vessel with coloured slips.
Painting of the Dylan Thomas bust. I will paint both inside and outside of the large vessel. To ensure that the audience will see what I am doing, I will need two working levels, one low, for painting the inside of the vessel, and one high to paint the outside of the vessel.
Concept: Dylan Thomas lived shortly in New Quay not very far from Aberystwyth. At that time he made a first draft of his play Under Milkwood. I will take some characters from the play and paint them on the vessel while introducing them to audience. It would be helpful if the Master of Ceremonies would make himself/herself familiar with the play.
Method: Coloured slips will be applied boldly, with broad brushes first to establish the composition, and layer upon layer of coloured slips will follow. The painting will be finished and enhanced with energetic graffiti. A set of sketches and preparatory drawings will be pinned on a screen or board or wall, for people to see.

I was born in Prague.
I studied medicine and worked as an anatomist.
In 1985 I moved to Britain.
I studied ceramics at Croydon College of Art and Design.
Set up my studio in London with the help of a Crafts Council Setting Up Grant.
I live and work in Bristol.

International Ceramics Festival

Aberystwyth Arts Centre
Penglais, Aberystwyth,
Ceredigion, Wales (UK)
SY23 3DE

Tel: (+44) 01970 623232 (Tickets & Box Office)
Tel: (+44) 07531146638 (General Enquiries)

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