Kit Helmsley

Kit Helmsley

Fascinated by clay in its multitude of colours and textures, Kit currently creates using delicate, flowing, semi-translucent, coloured Parian porcelain. Inspired by the sea and land formations the work is sometimes functional, often sculptural but always visually exciting. Coastal textures, colours and forms are mirrored in and on the ceramics. Coloured Parian clay is used to create movement in the pieces.

Parian is derived from Paros the Aegean Island famous for its beautiful white marble widely used for sculpture by the classical Greeks. Parian ware became very popular in the mid-nineteenth century and was manufactured by many notable Stoke-on-Trent potteries. Parian is a self-glazing body and extremely translucent.

Kit uses Parian because of the surface textures and colours that can achieved, the inner warmth of tone, and its translucency. It is only fired once which is a bonus.

Parian is coloured with oxides or glaze stains, then layered with the different colours, rolled out then folded, cut and then positioned together and rerolled. This process means that the pattern differs from the top to the bottom of the piece and no two pieces will ever be the same. The clay is then draped over rollers, cardboard or moulds to form. Textures can be added to the pieces using natural pieces, bubble wrap and wallpaper.

The processes used mean all her work is as individual as a fingerprint.