Prue Cooper trained as a painter, but preferred the more earth-bound activity of making objects for use. Her work celebrates friendship and the sharing simple pleasures that is implied by large dishes for food.
After art-school she spent twenty years dealing in 18th and 19th century drawings. In 1990 she returned to studying, for a 3-year ceramics course, and in 1996 set up her present studio, which she shares with Regina Heinz.
The cast of characters in the designs occupy "flat land", the limited perspective working with the two dimensions of the surface, while sometimes elements of the design deliberately challenge the form of the dish. Some are inscribed, the lettering being an integral part of the design in the same way that the words are integral to a song.
The dishes are press-moulded earthenware, decorated with slips and glazed with food-safe honey glaze. They are dish-washer proof and gently oven proof.
Earthenware dishes, press-moulded with slip decoration (slips are brushed, printed, trailed and sgraffito). The dishes are made to be used.
Work Generally Available from:
The Gallery at Bevere, Bevere Lane, Worcester
Contemporary Ceramics Centre, 63, Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, London
Yew Tree Gallery, Keigwin, Nr Morvah, Penzance, Cornwall
Red Barn Gallery, Melkin Thorpe, Nr Penrith, Cumbria
Twenty Twenty Applied Arts, High Street, Much Wenlock, Shropshire
Parkfields Gallery, High Street, Ross on Wye
New Brewery Arts, Cirencester, Gloucester
Leaping Hare, Wyken, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk
White House Gallery, St. Mary Street, Kircudbright, Dumfries & Galloway
Piers Feetham, 475, Fulham Road, London
The Museum Shop, Paul Mellon Centre for British Art, New Haven, USA.
Walford Mill, Wimborne
Simon Drew, Dartmouth
The Granville shop at the British Museum, London
All dishes are of grogged red earthenware, press-moulded using my own moulds, and fired to 1100C in an electric kiln.
The slip decoration is trailed, brushed, printed and scraffito'd, and the slips are black, white and cobalt blue which become black, amber and green under the honey glaze. The use of oxides, and the double layer of colour, gives a depth and richness which commercial stains lack. The glaze contains 30% red clay, which gives a warm, amber tone with slight speckling.
The dishes have been tested and passed as food safe. They arre dishwasher proof, and as oven proof as any standard ceramic kitchenware.
Commissions undertaken - slipware: inscriptions lend themselves to celebration of special occasions.