Penny Withers is a professional ceramist with a studio in Sheffield. She has spent a long time discovering and experimenting with throwing skills; composing on the wheel and constructing forms from thrown slabs. She enjoys the velocity of throwing and the residual energy it produces in the finished piece. The springiness in a thrown slab makes it strong and able to hold a shape to convey dynamism.
Sculptural pieces are finished in monochrome satin glazes which reflect light, softly revealing form. Complementary layers of glazes are dipped, sprayed or poured over each other and fired in either oxidising or reduction kilns. By observing the way that glazes react with each other she suggests landscapes; mountains, lakes, clouds. The vessel forms allow for the inclusion of natural plants and flower arrangements. These add elements such as shoreline reeds or scrub weeds (for example) to the overall composition. Penny is constantly developing an expressive repertoire of minerals, oxides and firing techniques to create visual references to the natural world.
“I feel the connection that reaffirms my place as a being in a world of physical laws and raw materials as a compelling alchemy in the forming, glazing and firing of ceramics. The more I learn the more there is still to know.”